Isn’t it strange that princes and kings
And clowns who caper in stardust rings,
And common people, like you and me
Are builders for eternity?
R. L. Sharpe
About two years ago I was bitten by the genealogy bug. It left me with an incurable desire to add more and more branches to my family tree.
One of the best things about having this condition is that I will never be bored at family functions again. Every relative is a potential gold mine of information. For instance, I might discover that my great aunt has saved every Christmas letter and card she ever received, my uncle possesses the immigration records and passenger lists of our transplanted European ancestors, and my second cousin once removed has a collection of wedding photographs along with my grandmother’s wedding dress in her cedar chest that she had not looked at in over forty years.
After six months of searching on the internet and in archival libraries; I traced both my maternal and half of my paternal family trees back to the early 1600s, reconnected with relatives all over North America, and discovered new relations in Europe.
Days before last Christmas, a cousin, with whom I had not talked in over fifteen years, telephoned me to say that she had found our grandmother’s bible. Within its pages were three items; my grandmother’s marriage certificate, a letter my cousin had written to her, and a postcard that I had sent to her many years ago.
I was moved to tears by the news. The confirmation that my grandmother had, indeed, a special place for me in her heart meant the world to me and I thanked my cousin for possibly the best Christmas present I have ever received!
When the postcard arrived in the mail, I placed it in a silver frame alongside a photograph of my grandmother, and it rests for now on my bedside table.