Why I Write: Family Recordkeeper
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
The boxes sit and wait as they have for decades. Moved from place to place, the treasure remains hidden. Collecting dust and spider webs, they sit. They've moved from Grandma's house to her apartment and then onto me, because I have the most space. Once Sunday I move them down from my attic, their home for several years. So many boxes carefully packed and labeled in Grandma's impeccable cursive.
"Letters from Bob to Evelyn."
"Letters from Evelyn to Bob."
Other boxes filled with scrolls and photo albums. The scrolls outline generations of names, ancestors of present family members or descendants of past. They wait for someone to pick them up and tell their stories.
I have always loved understanding from where I came. More than a list of names and dates, I want to know the stories, connect the dots, understand why my ancestors made the decisions they made. When I am gone, I hope I am more than a set of dates. 1981-20??
My Grandma Evelyn many records of her and her husband's family. We came from Ireland and Scotland, mostly by way of England. Her mother-in-law also had an affinity for family history. When she moved from her apartment to a nursing facility, all the artifacts moved to my house.
Why do I write? I write to tell the family stories. These stories may only be interesting to those with my family name, but they are interesting nonetheless. Maybe my writing will only be read by my descendants, but I think they will be grateful that I took the time to connect some of the dots.
If nothing else, it allows me a unique type of worship: I appreciate how God has worked in history to bring me here now. He moved my ancestors across oceans and continents, combining their lines with other families, preserving my parents and grandparents because He wanted me here in 2020. I am so small and insignificant, but truly desired by God to be here. And that causes me to love Him more.