Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day to my father, my grandfathers, my great-grandfathers and all the others

Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers out there! Enjoy your day - you deserve it.

This will be the twelfth Father's Day without my Dad. I still tear up at the Sears Fathers Day commercials and can't set foot in the hardware tool department between Mother's Day and Father's Day. I see so many tools and gadgets that I know my father would have loved.

My husband gets photos for Father's Day. I hope he enjoys them. I think he does.

The best gift I can give to those fathers who have gone before is to continue my family history research, continue to locate "lost" relatives and to connect with as many of my relatives as I can. As I work on the family history, I find myself wanting to pick up the phone to call my Dad to tell him that I found this tidbit of information or that I heard from that cousin. Dad would have loved to have heard my news.

He wasn't excited about uprooting the family tree at first. He thought it a bunch of hooey and told me that I if I thought I was going to find royalty or famous people in our tree, I could just stop and save myself time and energy. As I located the graves of his great grandparents and reconnected with his first cousin's son, Dad grew to appreciate family history. He saw that it wasn't just a bunch of begats and trying to find famous or infamous ancestors or relatives. Dad realized that family history is about the people, about their lives and about their legacies.

Dad was a research chemist, and he passed along many of the techniques of research to me, and I use them. I take notes. I know to verify information that others give me. I think about the whats, the whys and the hows. I make notes of where I found books, and where I found information. I got historical maps and saw how the state and county boundaries changed, and that solved some very puzzling moves by some of my ancestors.

Thank you for all that you taught me, Dad. You may have thought that you were trying to teach me in vain. I hope you see that I did listen and despite my trying not to some times, I did learn.

So, in your honor, I'm going to go and try to uproot some more ancestors on your side of the family tree. Wish me luck!

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