I saw a bumper sticker a few days ago that said “I Collect Dead Relatives” not that this person actually had a stack of dead relatives laying around his house, maybe a few live cousins and a stack of research that ties his family tree together, I’m thinking.
As most of you know I spend quite a bit of time working on genealogy, and by doing so I feel like I personally know a lot of people who were long gone way before I was ever born. Some I have imagined their mannerisms and way of doing things while researching documents that verify who they are, I can see these family members faces and feel the sadness of their passing while reading the death certificates that sometimes tells you a story you never knew, or leaves you wondering what actually happened to them, when the cause of death is unexplained, funny thing is when I look back at the dates and realize that they were buried sometimes a hundred years ago.
Somebody once told me that in one hundred years it won’t really matter, this may be true for some things like how you do something in particular today, or if you skip taking out the trash right now, but in a hundred years will what you do today make a difference, will how you look or walk be something anyone remembers, in a hundred years will it really matter? I think so.
I found a picture some time back of a Great Grandmother, she was born in 1882 and died a decade before I was born, my Dad has told me stories about her and things he remembers about her, I feel almost like I have sat down to supper with her and laughed at the antics of the close family times shared in this home through his stories.
While sitting and looking at her picture I could see my Grand Dads face so I pulled out a picture of him, next I pulled a picture of my son and in all three pictures you could see the same facial features and profile. My son was born one hundred and six years after her and even though he would never know her, he is carrying her looks and most likely mannerisms with him today, so one hundred years later her influence matters.
Research your family tree and see what you can find, it is very addicting to collect dead relatives and it is a lot of fun, share your remembrances of your Grandparents with your children and the upcoming generations, laugh at how your brother looks and walks exactly like your Mom’s Dad, and share the tales you heard as a child yourself, these stories just may be the thing that brings a smile to someone’s face a hundred years from now when folks are remembering you.
Collecting dead relatives is a lot of fun, but remembering these people through stories passed down through the generations is a blessing that makes life matter way past a hundred years.