A small hobby of mine (meaning I’m not very good at it) is gathering information to fill out the big family tree. You know the kind: big, strong oak with huge branches all over, extending up to the heavens and as wide as the Mississippi River. The tree with branches starting low so a person can jump right into it and start climbing all the way to the top, looking out over the world below, seeing things from a different perspective.
That’s part of the pull toward genealogical searches, you know. That perspective thing, seeing family in a new way. Coming across the secrets of why such-and-such happened or becoming flabbergasted at a totally surprising turn of events that were lost in the story telling or deliberately kept under the rug. Appreciating the hardships of those who came before us, handing down their wealth of knowledge or monies or land or memories. Seeing in one face from decades ago the very face of a relative today.
These are four brothers, my dad and his siblings. Standing on the porch of the old home place, their farm. Dad is the tallest, the oldest. The last summer of his life the three of us — me, my sister and brother — took care of him spending days at a time. We looked through old photo albums, took rides down through the country where Dad grew up, talking to first one and then another, with Dad pointing out where this one lived and that one lived. Getting all sorts of information about his youth.
It was great until he pulled out the old army pictures one night. I think he went back in time, oblivious to the fact that his daughter was sitting there listening to him reminisce about the army days, commenting on the pretty pictures of the girls.
Just TMI (too much information)!!!