Monday we attended the funeral of my husbands’ Uncle Benny. He was 94 years old and had lived a long, wonderful life. I don’t know about you but this is the part about Genealogy that I really don’t like. You know… the part where you have to fill in the death date and other information for a just deceased relative.
Doing this makes you think of so many things. Of course first and foremost about the person who has just died, about their lives and their family. You remember the time spent with them and the conversations you had. Then your mind wonders to others you have lost and all the details about them. Then, inevitably your mind begins to grasp your own mortality.
When this happens we think about the things we have done in our lives, both the good and the bad, we think about those we love and those we have known. If you are anything like me you wonder “How much time do I really have left?” In light of that question I began to realize that I am lacking in so many things and I have started to make a promise to myself to no longer waste time and be sure to do those things that I feel are the most important to me. Things like spending more time with family, being more faithful to the Lord, and getting as much done on my Family History as I can.
One thing that stood out to me at the funeral was how people were saying how quickly Uncle Benny had passed. He had not been sick and had no “diseases”, he had just went to bed that evening and died peacefully in his sleep. Even though he was up there in years and it was inevitable, it still caught them all by surprise. So as a result, knowing we are not guaranteed tomorrow I have made a vow to get all of my Genealogy paperwork in order. I will make sure that all the stories I feel needs to be written are written, all the photos will be labeled and I will make sure I know who will take my place as the Family Historian when I am gone.
So, even though writing in the death date of a beloved relative is my least favorite thing to do, it has inspired me to do more with my own life.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.