On Our Past and Our Passing

On December 7, 2010, in Stories of Stories, by JRand

Extra... Extra!

There is nothing of particular note in my memories and nothing of particular note in my life that that warrants particular note in history. I am not famous, likely will not become famous and frankly would not appreciate most of the consequences being so would entail.

I am, like most, happy to only be noteworthy among family and friends rather than among complete strangers. But the Internet allows me to tell you my stories and express whatever views I hold, despite my lack of notoriety. No major broadcasting corporation or government agency needs to find me worthy of being given “airtime”. It is also possible for most anyone that can find their way here and read what I am posting to do the same! Isn’t that wonderful and quite amazing?

I will be telling some stories and conveying information on “Capture the Past” because I have found the process of becoming a family archivist to be rewarding on many levels. That is primarily what this digital undertaking is about. I hope to influence those who find their way here in a positive manner — to save, organize and pass along your own family history before it passes by you.

My stories are presented with the understanding that they are likely to be similar in many ways to your own stories and your own family history. Certainly not in the details but rather, on a core level. We all have stories and they are all important to us. They are also important to our families who, if we don’t take the time to tell them, will not have the opportunity to benefit from them.

Consider this and tell me (seriously, post a comment) if this doesn’t ring true to you in some way.

Generation Gap

One of my grandfathers died when I was eighteen. At that age, I was mostly interested in myself as all teenagers are and it was too soon for me to rethink and restore the relationship I had with him as a child. But he didn’t live long enough to allow that to occur. I have fond childhood memories of my grandfather but was never able to ask him directly about his life and what he had learned. I was never able to speak with him as an adult. Most of what I know about him, beyond childhood memories, came from my parents.

I am now in my mid 50’s and my parents are now both gone. My daughters know only of my grandfather through this chain of stories. And their grandparents died when they were teenagers, in a similar state of mind that I was at eighteen. They too have wonderful childhood memories of their grandparents but must now rely upon me to fill in the adult details before the chain is broken and something happens to me.

So why is this at all important? Who cares what we know or don’t know about long dead relatives we never even met?

Well … who do you want your children’s heroes to be? A cartoon character, an action figure, a rock star, a movie star, a person from history, a current world leader? Likely they, as we all, will have many temporal “heroes” during their lives but isn’t it wonderful when they can also have someone in their own family to serve as a “local hero”.

Of course I am exaggerating by the use of the word “hero” but only to make a point. If we do not know the better qualities of our own family members we are missing the continuity of life. Before we pass, we need to pass along.

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