Researching my family history has been amazing. I have started to uncover pieces of information which continue to both fascinate and thrill.
But there’s something researchers and genealogists don’t tell you. There’s a depressing side to all of this digging and trailing. Genealogy can sometimes just plain suck.
Yes, it can suck.
I have hundreds of questions, which keep me awake at night with no answers in sight. Documents, pictures and articles (if you can find them), only tell you so much. You start to literally wonder, who, what, where, why and when.
You also start to wish.
“I wish I could ask Nana who this person was”; “I wish I could ask Grandpa what happened to his dad”. Eventually wishing becomes a vicious cycle; wishing leads to regret and regret leads to disappointment. Finally you’re so disappointed you eventually throw yourself a pity party.
In my case, wishing leads to disappointment…leading to a pity party (yay, wine?).
I have no regrets when it comes to my grandparents. I however feel sour, being cheated out of getting to know them. Three out of four of them passed within the same year; I was too young to remember. My Nana died when I was in the 5th grade, a time where everything was a clear haze.
When you’re a grandchild you’re excused from real life, you don’t have to ask your grandparents questions, you merely enjoy each other’s company. You’re a kid! Be a kid. Make Barbie clothes with Nana and feed the dog crayons.
When you’re an adult, it’s a different story. You’re an adult… you can understand and comprehend information. I envy the adult grandchild; you have material and history at your fingertips. All you have to do is ask.
So ASK. Ask as many questions as you possibly can. Take it from someone who can’t question, enquire or nag. There are no excuses.
This weekend is a time to reflect and to be thankful for what we have. Take the opportunity at dinner to ask your grandparents about their past. Ask them who their friends were, what they did for fun and what their parents were like.
You never know, asking a grandparent a simple question can stir sentiment and recollection, encouraging an escape to reminiscence. They truly will be thankful.