Early last year, I began researching into my rather large family’s ancestry. It was a daunting task, to say the least. I used a popular ancestry search website, so this made things a little easier. I started with my mom’s family, only knowing up as far as my great-great grandmother’s maiden name. The rest was all new to me.
Generation after generation, I searched and searched as far back as I could. I learned not only their names and when they were born but also what their lives were like. I read anecdotal stories, I viewed letters they’d written, and I saw evidence of their daily lives.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Not only because I would really like to start searching again, but also because I know future generations might one day research me and my immediate family. What will they find? What stories will they read?
Am I living the kind of life I want my possible great-great-great etc. grandchildren to learn about? This is the most prominent question in my mind. If they put the time into their research, they might even find this blog, if it still exists then. They might read about my depression and anxiety. They might discover my loves, my quirks, my hopes, and also my fears.
For me, reading about my ancestors’ lives was incredible, but it was also incredibly depressing. The number of young children (mostly infants) that they lost is heartbreaking. And the struggles and trials they had to endure just to survive is hard to fully comprehend.
Will my grandchildren think the same of my life? Maybe, but I hope not. I hope the future generations will be able to find some hope and happiness in my stories and even in my struggles.