Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, March 13, 2017

getting to know

 As anyone that reads my blogs knows I love history and working on the family tree. I have a decent collection of old photographs. The majority of those pictures I knew the people personally, others I heard stories about growing up, and a few I have recovered from the dark past. I have searched for information about all these folks. I have learned facts about those in the distant past and in a few instances some personal stuff as well. That stuff I gleaned from old newspaper articles, obituaries and other sources. I remember the stories I was told about the old folks, the ones my parents and grandparents knew. A few of those folks held me when I was a baby and I have no remembrance of that. There are others I do remember from my childhood. Sadly many of those folks are gone now. There are times when I look in the mirror and realize I'm getting to be the old guy now ! It hits home each time I read a notice of someone's passing. I don't have to have known the person, all I have to do is read the age. When that age is close to mine it gives me pause. I'm reminded that my father is gone, one brother of mine is gone, grandparents all gone. Well, you get the idea. It does make me think about my life. I've been here for 63 years. It doesn't sound very long at all, but I'm more than halfway for sure. I have seen many younger than myself leave this world.
 As I glanced up at the pictures that surround me at my desk I had this thought. I've only been here sixty three years but have some knowledge of one hundred and fifty or more. I have gathered those pictures and information to the point I feel like I know most of them. It's true that some are only an acquaintance, but I am related to almost every one. I do have a few old friends around. I can see my father in his uniform from WW2 and feel like I have been there myself. I see my great grandmother working at her rag rug loom and I can relate to that. There are pictures and memories everywhere. So I'm thinking I can say I have been around a lot longer than my sixty three years. I believe that can be said for us all in one sense. If you remember a story that was told to you about an ancestor, is that still a memory of that ancestor ? Or would you say it is a memory of a story that was told to you ? For me, I think of it as a memory of that ancestor. That is especially true if the one that told me that story are themselves departed. Strange how that works isn't it ? Stranger still how we like to take credit for the past. I mean, my 2nd great grandfather was a whaler. I say that with a degree of pride, although it recent years not so much, but why should I feel any credit for what he did ? I don't know, in recent years their seems to be a feeling I should also be responsible for any wrongdoing those ancestors may have done. That is being felt to the point of making reparations for those ancestors ! An incredible idea if you really think about that.
 I don't know why this thought came to me this morning. Physically I have been here for 63 years but spiritually, and I'm not certain that is the correct term, I have been here much longer. No, I don't feel like I have lived other lives before this one, that isn't the feeling at all. It is more a sense that I have been watching. I just have a sense of those that came before me. That sense came from the old stories and pictures. It may come from thinking about them. It has been said no one dies as long as their name is spoken. I agree with that sentiment. Perhaps speaking those names of the past has kept them alive, at least to me, and therefore I feel like I know them. With that feeling I have added years to my past, years before 1953 ! I can look at a picture, even one taken long before my birth, and get a feeling from that picture, almost as though I am there. It is comforting the majority of the time but there are moments of creepiness ! Memories from a past I didn't live ? Maybe I've been reading too much Stephen King.
 Whatever the case, I feel a compulsion to continue assembling the past. I'm trying to get it all together. To what purpose ? Of that I'm not certain, but it doesn't make a difference to me. Maybe I just don't want to show up in the next life as a stranger. I'd rather be among old friends and family.