Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Roots and Blood

The stiff breeze chilled me, despite my overcoat, as I stood on a small hill early this afternoon. What a cold, gray day. The rest of the family was already heading back to the warmth of their vehicles as I laid a hand on top of my grandmother's casket and said a last goodbye before she was buried next to my grandfather at historic Glenwood Cemetery in Northeast DC.

I never knew my grandfather, except from grandma's stories. He died two years before I was born. Now she is gone too, and I want to make sure my kids know those stories and others. Her death has me thinking about those who preceded me. I am who I am because of them and my other ancestors. Why don't I know more about them all? What were they really like? What did they struggle with? What were their successes and failures? What inspired them?

Perhaps some think such ponderings are foolish and irrelevant to today, but I want to know. I need to spend more time talking with my parents about their families before that knowledge is beyond my grasp. I want my children to know those stories of their own roots and blood. Will they want to know as I do? Will their children, my grandchildren (God willing), want to know? I hope so!

Rest in peace, Grandma.

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