Climbing into the tree

I had fallen out of my family’s tree.

I didn’t know any extended family growing up – just heard some stories from my mother. And I seem to have been disowned by some of my family – I’m not sure why. I got into genealogy to try to understand those whys of my family.

I have found some answers but, I’ve been more surprised to find that there are people who have gotten into my heart.

There’s the guy taken by pirates who ended up taking the ship and bringing the pirates to justice. But there’s also the mother who killed herself when her baby was about a year old – they didn’t know about postpartum depression in colonial times. I hurt for her.

I recently got a message from a cousin I didn’t know. He had information on our grandmother. She died of Multiple Sclerosis. She went into a state facility in the 1930’s and was there for 20 years. I looked up the treatment she would have received and I’ve been in tears for her. It’s one of those times when I wish I could go back in time and do … something.

So, I am slowly climbing back into the tree and I’ve found that it isn’t just about solving puzzles, filling in dates or finding cemetery stones. It’s getting to know people. It’s sharing their lives long after they thought anyone would.