Monday, August 1, 2011

You'll Be Someones Ancestor Someday

Have you ever considered that fact?
You will be someones ancestor someday.

an·ces·tor (n s s t r) n. 1. A person from whom one is descended, especially if more remote than a grandparent; a forebear. 2. A forerunner or predecessor.

The last thing on the younger generation's mind is their ancestors and their descendants. They are ALL about living today to its fullest. The little boys in the picture above are my grandmother's brothers. I'm sure all that they were thinking as they posed for that picture was,"Can I play now?"

So, off they'd go, one day running into the next until their life was a series of mostly forgotten moments. I read a blogpost today that stirred me: World War II London Blitz Diary . I would have loved to have a journal like Ruby has. One that would expose me to the thoughts, stresses, sorrows, and challenges of someone I'm related to. That would make them come "alive" to me. I'd see them as a source of wisdom.

You could start a journal today.

Do you understand what that would mean to your children and grandchildren? You may think that what you are going through doesn't matter. But if you leave your written journey from beginning to end of a specific problem or challenge you will be a source of strength to someone. You'll have made a difference.

What if Olga had written about her feelings and how she grieved for her son Roy (above) after receiving news that he'd been killed in action in France during WW1? Don't you think seeing the process of what she went through as she mourned her loss would help me with any future grief I might experience?

Don't you agree that having a first-person narrative of what it was like for my grandparents to live during the Depression would help me with my self-esteem as I face uncertain and precarious financial challenges? Sure, they would give me only one point of view. But just knowing that someone else struggles with the same things (and sometimes succeeds!) creates a sense of camaraderie and support.

Know that your life matters.

Start today. Start small. Update it whenever. But write something down. What's going on right now? Write the truth. Ex[press all of your feelings whether they be joyful or full of doubt and frustration. 

You can make a difference.

Share with me, if you will, what you think about journaling. Have you started one. Do you have one of your ancestors? Leave a comment. I know people are interested in what you have to say.



  1. This post makes me think of a trip to Santa Fe last year. I was in an antique shop and came across a chest of old black and white photos. I bought 2 of them because I was intrigued by the images and the idea of the story behind the photos. Did those people want to make a difference with their lives? What was their story?

  2. Hi Sandi!
    You came to visit!! Gotta wonder who those people were in the photos? Crazy that someone's pics ended up in an antique shop! And I love black and white by the way. They seem so elegant and special. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi Betsy,
    What an interesting thought! You're right - we don't think THAT far into the future in our quest to live in the moment!
    I have thought about it, though, in terms of my book. I imagine my granddaughter reading it - a story that involves her mother. So little is left when we "go" - what WILL we leave to our descendants? A worthy question!

  4. Lori,
    So glad that you're back!
    I have a question, too. Are you writing a book for your granddaughter? Or were you just wondering what you'd include in the story? For me it's not what I think will matter. Everyone finds those gems themselves; however, I think that there's something to learn in the simplest stories. I'm intrigued by how people are more apt to learn things when they have a context for the information and when they feel an emotional connection to them. Thanks Lori!

  5. This book was not written specifically for my granddaughter, but I imagine her reading it. Mostly, though, I imagine my children reading something I wrote (as if I didn't make them read it several times during the writing of it LOL) and how that will feel for them to read my words long after I'm gone.
    A good friend of mine wrote a wonderful story for her grown children. I think we should all write our life stories (is that called our memoirs?) for the ones we'll leave behind. Are you writing yours?


What do you think? I'd love to know.