Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Adding Another Entry
to the Future's Family History
Yesterday was one of those days we family historians clamor to find, written up, about our forebears, but not necessarily one we like to participate in, ourselves. The "going home celebration." The "celebration of life." No matter what euphemism modern man has come up with to re-designate the age-old event, it's still a funeral. And we're bidding someone goodbye for the last time.
When a family event is long anticipated—joyously, that is—we are quite glad to dutifully enter the name and respective date into our genealogical records. I think of every time my husband's ninety three year old aunt has another great-grandchild: she is sure to send the details in her next card to our address. We are quite pleased to have this sort of participation in building out our family tree.
Not so for those other events. While we add those final dates dispassionately for those far-removed from our current-day family, keeping the genealogical record straight for the current generation brings with the task a tear, a sigh, a long pause to remember. Yet, these changes to our own generation will become the records our future family will someday seek. Hopefully, they'll seek even more than just the bare bones of names, dates, and places of such events.
Hopefully, they'll have preserved for them—with all the care of the photo montage laid out for yesterday's service—all the very remembrances we wish we had had passed down to us of the relatives we never met, the ones before our time who meant just as much to their generation as our lost loved ones mean to us.