Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why Know Your Family Story?

What is your family story? Is it what you did this morning? Is it what you did last week? How about last year? Or, does it have anything to do with you at all? The thing about a family story is that it's all of the above and then some. It's about you and everyone in your family that came before you. It's also everyone in your family that comes after you. Each person is a chapter in your family story.

So, why care about your family story? I once read somewhere that everyone has a deep desire to know where you came from, who you came from, and who your people are. It's a desire to know where you belong. It's your heritage, and one day it will be your legacy. What will people remember about you? Just your birth, marriage, & death dates? Aren't you more than that?

Of course you are, and your ancestors are more than that, too.

Whether they were famous, high in social standing, or hard-working farmers, they were real people with real lives just like you. They lived, they loved, they grieved...they were everyday people.

Everytime I look at my family's old pictures, I always wonder what they were thinking when the picture was taken. Were they really as happy as they seem to be in the picture? One thing is for sure: I wish I had been there with them and I wish I knew them. These people who I am related to by blood. Would our similarities be apparent? From whom do I get my stubborness from?

As you are sitting there -right now- you are not a void. You are not a hole in history. You have a life. You have a place in your family, and you have friends. Your days are filled with your activities. You are an ongoing family story.

What will your children's children know about you and your story later on when you're no longer on this earth? Will they know your story, or will they just know your basics - birth, marriage, death, etc., or worse yet, will you be a void on your family tree? The chapter that's missing from the book?

Your ancestors were once more than a void in the family tree. They were more than just their vital stats. They had homes, jobs, and lives. They were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Each with their own chapter in your family book. Their own story that interweaves with all the other family members' stories creating...your family story.

Join me as I take a tour through history and my family story. Maybe yours looks like mine...


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