The following was written by editor Kara Fleck and originally appeared in November 2010.
November is here, which means that it won’t be too long before the official start of the holiday season. Families will gather, some of whom we haven’t seen since last year (or perhaps longer). Around holiday tables, families will share stories, remember loved ones no longer with us, and celebrate new generations.
This can also be a time of year for remembering loved ones who are no longer with us. My oldest daughter has been especially interested lately in stories about my husband and I’s grandparents (her great-grandparents) and in the various branches of our family tree.
We’ve been talking with Jillian about things like how her Grandpa Fleck loved peanut butter and how thrifty and creative her great grandparents were. We’ve been discussing personality traits we share and looking at photos and seeing familiar facial features.
We have been making phone calls and sending emails, talking to other family members in an effort to learn as much as we can about what the generations who came before us were like.
I feel like it is important to find out the stories of our family history so that my kids can get to know their ancestors as more than just names, but as people with dynamic personalities whose lives contributed to who we are today.