Creating Family History
Easter came early this year, and in Indiana, the snow had no sooner melted than the air warmed up, the grass turned green, and the trees started budding in earnest. This is the fastest transformation I can remember from one season to the next.
In my family of numerous children, spouses and grandchildren, we get together to color more than 100 eggs, hide and help little ones find candy-filled eggs, and eat a delicious meal together. Although the tradition is relatively new for us, it is one that we cherish, looking into the eyes of the delighted children and realizing that to them, this is how it has always been done. It is their tradition.
After the festivities this year, I had a yearning to go back “home” to visit my paternal grandparents. I knew I could not go back to that magical time when they were alive, but after conducting lunchtime genealogical research the last couple of years, I knew I could find the old cemetery where they and other ancestors I had “found” were buried and visit them there.
So, after Easter egg day with the kids, my husband and I set out to find a graveyard on top of a hill in the southern Indiana forest, a cemetery whose tiny church had long ago been obliterated by a tornado. We circled around until we found it, then planted flowers on the graves of my grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents and one great-great-great grandfather. Surprisingly, I feel not only more connected to them by this small action, I also feel as though I know myself a bit better, which is undoubtedly an auspicious start to the new season.
|Teresa Baer is managing editor of Family History Publications at the IHS Press, which includes THG: Connections, Online Connections, ethnic and migration history, and children’s and young adult books. She loves playing with her grandkids, exploring the great outdoors and discovering information about her ancestors.|