Genealogy is an interesting journey for those of us that wish to find our ancestors. Who were they, what did they look like and how did they live their lives. It always makes us feel closer to them and ultimately helps us to know ourselves, especially when we find their picture, or find their gravestone because it makes them real, not just a story from the past and we celebrate their existence.
Then we dig deeper to find our ancestors personal stories, what did they contribute to their community, and what did they do for work. You even find the street they lived on, and sometimes actually have the opportunity to see the house they once lived in. You discover who their neighbors were and most likely they too were ancestors for the trend back then was for family to live near one another. We don't do that today, i.e. transportation. Were they happy? Were they sick? Did they live a long life or died young? Did they suffer the loss of a husband or child(ren).. How did church and faith influence their lives? It is like we knew them all along.
So here we are, so many years later, our genealogy books are filled with names and dates, census records, birth and death records, newspaper articles, photographs and anything and everything else we discovered . The books are busting at the seams for all we have garnered. Our history neatly tied up and sealed safely away for future generations so they might have the gift of their family history.
So what is the lesson learned? What is not so much the obvious? What is behind what we have uncovered, revealed or exposed about the good and the bad, the happy and sad, and the successes and failures of those from generations past. You learn that people really don't change, only time does. The behavior of yesterday is the same as it is today. That alone may give comfort to some.
As time marches forward places and things have a way of disappearing. Just look around. Grandma's house has been torn down to make way for the new, the oldest buildings in the center of town have made way for the strip malls. Our children are kept so busy and controlled so they have no time to discover, explore, play make believe and use their imaginations, all so important for personal growth and discovering oneself. Childhood is gone in the blink of an eye. Ever wish you could have your small children to enjoy once again?
I truly want you to get your education so you can get a good job. Go ahead and make as much money as you can to enjoy all the luxuries life has to offer. I truly want you to do this if you wish .Just don't forget the true gift of life. Remember what is most important.
What I learned and has given me guidance is that time doesn't stand still, it doesn't wait for anyone. Never miss an opportunity when it is presented to you. Never say no to an offer to go somewhere with family or friend. These special moments that would have created wonderful memories may never come again. These are the stories that bring laughter and warm smiles. These are the stories of love that you want to pass down to your descendants. Don't look back one day with regret. I won't.