Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Two Feet Rooted in the Past...None in the Future?

Everyone comes from somewhere.  I am lucky to have a family who keeps up with the family members of the past, or to an extent anyway.  So 2 years ago I began doing ancestry research.  Really I was just picking up where my maternal Grandfather started many years ago.  When I was little he would tell me stories about his parents and how one of his Grandmother's was Creek Indian.  For many years he tried to "prove" our Native American Heritage but kept hitting road block after road block.  However if you look at the following picture, you will see that she truly did have some Indian in her (she is the one of the far left and my grandfather is the little boy standing right next to her)....but if you can't "prove" it well, what can you do?

So my journey to "prove" where I came from started, so that future generations of MY LINE know where they came from.  The first few months of my searching online, I would lose track of time and before I knew it, it would be 4am and I would sneak into bed so my husband wouldn't know that I had been spending so much time "searching".  I'm pretty sure my incessant and obsessive need to "find" where I came from stems from all of my infertility issues.  My paternal grandmother is 93 and constantly tells me stories about things she remembers from her childhood.  She has even written a book/journal, if you want to call it that....it is handwritten and in a spiral notebook.  She tells about her life growing up, wrote stories that her grandmother used to tell her and shared her perspective on how she saw her parents, my Great-grandparents.  Right after I began my searching I spent most of my time finding her line of the family and for Christmas that year I gave her a printed and bound copy of an Ancestry report that went back 13 generations on her father's side of the family.  She loves her book so much, my dad says that now, two years later she looks at it everyday. 

About a year ago, my Grandmother and I were talking one day about old pictures and I was telling her how I would love to have copies of them.  She told me that I could copy them because since I didn't have anyone to pass the originals down to, those would go to someone else in the family.  WOW!  Did that ever HURT!  Nothing like sticking a knife in your grandchild's heart and twisting a little.  Yes I don't have children yet...cause of the infertility.  And YES my Grandmother KNOWS WHY!  But for her to say that was devastating to say the least.  She is 93, but that isn't an excuse for saying what she did.  But she is old Texas lady who speaks her mind.  After that comment it made my searching even that more frantic.  I secretly search her house when I am there for old pictures so I can scan them so I at least have a "copy" since I am not WORTHY of having the ORIGINALS since I don't have kids.....YET! 

I have done as much research as I can on my dad's side of the family for now and have turned my sights back to my mom's side, which is where I had originally started.  This side of the family originated not far from where I moved from recently in Alabama and where we are still kinda close to.  One day I took off with my GPS and the name of a Cemetery in this rural part of a county south of us and I found the graves of my Great Great Great Grandfather and Grandmother!  That was really cool!  But then I got busy with the move and put my searching on hold.  Until yesterday.

Yesterday I found myself up in the same area of Alabama and I got the old yearning to "look" for my past yet again (my Grandfather would be so proud).  So armed with my computer and GPS I found where my Great Grandmother was buried! (She is the lady on the far right in the picture above.)  It took me all day to find it but I found it just as the sun was going down.  I stood over her grave and wondered if she ever thought about what the future would hold and if she would ever have someone come and find her and say, "This is who I came from."  I think about this ALL THE TIME!!!  I want that more than anything in the world and I think that is what I am afraid of the most....that after all of this, I will know where I came from but there will be no one in the future to find me to say, "I came from her!"  What if my footsteps here on earth are the last of my line?  What if I leave no link for the future? What if there is no one to name their child after me because it was a beautiful old family name? What if this is it? Am I searching for nothing?

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