I wish I had thought to ask my elders about their life when they were still living. I did my paternal grandmother once for a school project and I loved listening to her stories. I don't understand why I didn't ask the same of my other relatives. I would give anything to know more and to see what they looked like as children, young adults and the person I knew and loved. As hard as I try, I cannot move past this and it breaks my heart. I also wish I knew what their siblings, parents and cousins looked like.
A few of my cousins have taken the time to share the pictures they do have and I am forever grateful to them. I pick my mother's brain daily and have been getting a lot of help from my dad and my Aunt Chris. Without them, I would have nothing, I mean no oral history. The pictures that I've been sent by my cousins Leslie, Kecia, DaVita and Dollie have brought so much joy to me. I can't find the words to express the excitement I feel while looking at each picture. They will make a great addition to that person's post (when I write it). I also love looking at my genealogy group's photos too. They are so beautiful and say so much about that person. Some go as far back as 4 generations. What a blessing!
It makes me sad that I didn't start this journey sooner. Hurts my heart to know the only information I'll get is through records and not oral history. Still I am thankful that those records exist. Every little bit helps. Some of the stories are so sad that it's hard to read and yes I do cry. I cry for the pain and suffering they went through and I smile because they survived.
I miss you Nanny, Grandma Edna, Mr. Deer, Daddy Roy, Uncle Drew, Uncle Derrick, Uncle Lewis, Uncle Clarence, Cousin Pee Wee, Aunt Connie, Aunt Mildred, Sister (aka Aunt Rosalind whom I sometimes called Rosie Mae) and Mama Rose. I really wish I had just asked you about your life, hopes and dreams. As a child, I always thought you'd be here. As an adult, I know our time here is short. As close as we were there was so much about you that I don't know. I only hope I am doing you all some justice through my blog (which needs to be updated). I love you all so much and miss the times we spent talking, laughing and just being. I grew up surrounded by so much love. So I can truly say I'm a product of my environment, an environment of unconditional love and support.
I say all of the above to say this (my take on my mom's favorite and often used phrase), If you have any elders in your family take the time to get to know their story/history while you can. Don't be like me and let your youthful ignorance stop you from getting their story because once they pass all that information is gone.
Thank you True for telling me to write this post.
Atlantic Records. (2009, October 26). Wind Beneath My Wings (Video Version). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksPWvoaluFc