We Are The Chosen
We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find
the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to
tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing
life into all who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe.
All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those
who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story!" So, we do. In
finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before
now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the
ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times
have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me?
I cannot say. It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I
and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be
lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying, "I can't let this
happen." The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to
doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able
to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to
respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up,
their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep
pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.
It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us at
Search memorial contributions by Deborah Wall