One of many things I’ve been interested in for a long time is family history. I think it was the death of my maternal grandmother that made me realize that you need to take the time to write things down.
I’ve always been very proud of all of my heritage, although that does get quite difficult at times. However, while I am not ashamed of any part of my heritage, I’ve always felt a particularly strong connection to the Native American heritage on my mother’s side of the family. My grandmother, the one who died, was half Cherokee and half Apache. I am not a member of either of those nations however. Her ancestors were the ones who refused to participate in such acts as the “trail of tears”, and hid out in the woods.
Anyway, I’m getting side-tracked. The purpose of this article is to stress the importance of what I feel is a critical part of every person’s life. I feel that, as a human being, one thing you should do is keep track of your family. I loved my grandmother, and knew she had rich heritage, but never actually took the time to sit down and talk to her about it. She talked to me on a few occasions when I was a small child, but I didn’t take the time to care or to actively make attempts to write any of it down. Now that she’s gone, I find myself asking questions that she most certainly would have been able to answer. As people, understanding where you come from is, in my opinion, an important part of growing and developing as a person. The old saying goes, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” I believe that applies to all aspects of life. It’s not something that I can really rationalize with logical arguments that result in clear benefits. All I know to say is, take pride in your heritage, ask the hard questions now while your loved ones are still alive. Learn to be proud of where your family comes from, and be the leader that your family needs to continue to prosper into future generations. At some point in the future, your ancestors will look back to you, and wonder what kind of person you were. Be that family leader, make your family proud, now and into future generations. It really is hard to explain how important family is, and can be, it’s just something you have to know, and experience. Because of that, I feel that it’s important that we as people familiarize ourselves with our ancestors, learn from their mistakes, and from what they did right, and keep as many records as we can so that we never forget where we came from.
I seem to be rambling, I’ll be honest I didn’t really sit down and organize my thoughts before posting this. I’m re-building my family tree because I was using my computer to build one, and in the process of driving from Fort Lewis, WA to Salyersville, KY when I left the military (about 3,000 miles), the external hard drive it was stored on got wiped because I forgot and laid it under the seat next to two powerful CB radio antenna base magnets for the 4 days it took me to get here.