It's been ten years. Exactly.
Like taking a walk—a very long walk—it's been a matter of putting one foot in front of another and taking the next step.
That walk started on May 8, 2011. And here we are today: 3,650 steps later. It's been a long walk.
Along the way, the journey has provided me the means to document and refine the details on the stories of thousands of relatives and their ancestors. The process has shown me how intertwined our lives turn out to be, how networked we all are, how woven together our mutual existence. Best of all, I've learned how things really were: the ancestors who wanted their stories hidden, as much as those who wished their story were told.
In time, I've come to realize not only how thrilled I was to discover the answers to questions I've always had—remember, I was born wanting to know more about my family—but how even the process of making these discoveries required a family tree of friends, associates, and neighbors. Even the process of genealogy has its own "F.A.N. Club." Those are the people who provide the incentive to keep going, the inspiration to try harder, and the empathy to enable others to endure the pain points in the process. Together, we make a team.
If you're still here, I will be, too. There's so much work yet to do. Maybe for others it can be different, but when I overhear people mention they have "finished" their family tree, I already know I never will. Here's to the next post. The next story. The next year. Maybe even the next decade...