I didn't know a lot of my family growing up, why? I still don't quite understand how my mom and dad's families grew so apart. I have heard stories from my dad about how close his whole family was growing up and how they grew apart after he moved to the small town I still live in. I can understand how distance can create barriers and make it difficult for families to be together, but it still bothers me that there were never any occasions that our families, his cousins and Aunts and Uncles, ever really got to know us kids. I remember meeting some of my Great Aunts and Uncles at funerals and a few brief visits at my Paw Paw's house, but nothing significant enough. This may sound terrible, but I wanted to go to funerals just so I could meet some of my family even though it wasn't a good time for that. I wanted to know who they were.
I am not sure that my mom's family were ever close. I know that growing up my mom and her brothers and sister moved a lot due to the fact my grandfather was an immigration officer, but I never heard many stories of them having a lot of real family fun together.
I guess that is why I do genealogy. It's like detective work trying to find out who they were, what they did, where they came from, etc...etc. I want to know them and I want the rest of the family to know and remember them. I am guilty of not spending enough time with my family and guilty of not seeking my living family members that I didn't know, out sooner, but I am trying. I have made several family connections just researching our family history and it has been so awesome. I found one of my dad's cousins that he had not spoken to in a long while, Claudine, she is awesome. And in the last couple of weeks heard from another cousin of my dad's, Shirley Ann. We have all been trading information and pictures. Both, Claudine and Shirley Ann had pictures of my great grandparents and other family that I had never seen. How awesome is that? The biggest disappointment I have had doing genealogy research is realizing that one of my grandmother's sisters had just passed away a few years ago. I didn't realize that she had any living siblings (very bad assumption on my part). My dad's mom died of breast cancer before I was born and I have heard lots of stories about her from my dad, my aunt, and a few other people that knew her. I feel personally cheated that I didn't get to know my grandmother at all, and to find out that she had a sister still alive until a few years ago, hurt me inside. I had a great aunt that I could have known and some how been close to my grandmother at the same time.
This is the point of my blog today.....Get to know your family, Don't wait until it's too late. Be a part of your family. It may not seem convenient at the moment, but you never know what wonderful memory may come out of that time together. Don't miss out!