An Excerpt from When Descendants Become Ancestors…
"Congratulations—you’re going to be an ancestor (someday). You cannot escape it. Nor can I. Nor can anyone else. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your beliefs about an afterlife, but each body ultimately ceases to exist. We all know that. From the moment of birth, each of us begins a journey that must ultimately conclude with our entrance into ancestry.
As we research our own ancestors and mourn the lack of information available to us, we forget that we are the future ancestors of our descendants. And if we don’t leave to them the kinds of information about our lives that we crave to know about our own forefathers, then we are merely perpetuating the problem."
How often have you regretted your failure to engage the elder generations of your family for information about their lives and memories? How many times have you wanted just one more hour with a deceased relative who could answer that one burning question that you suddenly thought about, and that no one else can answer? Perhaps you remember a time when an older acquaintance wanted to share with you some stories about “the good old days,” but you couldn’t be bothered.
Most of us have had regrets like these, as will our descendants—unless we seek to record and preserve some stories for their use. Whether our stories are short and simple or long and complex matters not, but these stories will become part of their heritage and can certainly influence their lives. Though our contributions may not be recognized for decades, our lives matter to future generations and our stories should be told. The rest is up to each of us.