History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are. – David C. McCullough
In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. – Alex Haley
Never is the truth of such quotes more important or made more relevant than after a death. Recently I have gone through a number of losses, including the death of my mother-in-law two weeks ago. A blessing in our lives, her passing was not unexpected, nor out of sync with nature. She had struggled long and hard with disease.
Yet her passing, though peaceful and natural, has once more reminded me of the fragility of our links to the past. I have lost both of my parents and now my mother-in-law. For our grandchildren, that means that the door to the past has closed ever more….only one great-grandfather links them to their history, a history rich with story and family drama. And it reminds me that, as a writer, I had better continue building on the pages of story that reveals how life was for my folks and my grandparents, and even, lo and behold, for me.
We need to do this for our children and their children. Technology, invention, and the rapidly changing world of today makes the past even more important and life-altering. Things simply disappear today; events are merged with sound-bytes of trivia and headlines have replaced real journalism. What we are often left with are bits and pieces of story; names with no faces, or faces wtih no history…..
So, pen to paper, or fingers on keyboard, it is imperative that we rekindle the awareness that we are who we are because of where we’ve come and because of those who have come before us! Whether through memoir or journals, poetry, or story, we need to bring the past back to our children. We need to give them their HISTORY.