Friday, August 25, 2023

Adding a New Generation


When I think about the key ingredient which first beguiled me to pursue my family's history—the stories passed down through my mother to me from her grandaunt Fannie—I remember how startled I was to discover that it could actually have been possible for me to meet the family's great storyteller. The stories she shared were full of history from the early days of the family's settlement in Florida—back as long ago as the 1830s. And yet, it wasn't until after I graduated from college that Aunt Fannie had passed away. She had taken on a reputation as historic as the memories of previous generations which she had captured in her tales.

And how many of those family stories there are to capture, even after all these years of pursuit. It reminds us of our role in keeping those stories alive for another generation—and not a moment too soon. Just this past week, our extended family welcomed in the first arrival in the next generation. Adding a new generation to the family's history reiterates the call for us to continue preserving and passing on those stories. Someday, this newest generation will take our place, and what will they have to pass along, if we don't give them the gift of these remembrances?

While so many family historians bemoan what seems to be a lack of interest in what they've discovered by years of research, I still am convinced that someone in the upcoming generations will step up to take our place as preserver of family remembrances. While this first member of the newest generation for our family may not take the helm as our future family historian, someone joining the ranks of that next generation may well be the one. As long as we share those stories, there will be someone who will feel the call to step up and do so. We never know, as we welcome in each member of this newest generation, who will be the one. But that there will be one, I am quite certain. 

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