Friday, February 03, 2006

Genealogy

I've been taking an interest in my dad's and my father-in-law's work on our family trees. Both of them have put time and effort in tracing ancestors to quite a while back and now I would like to join their findings into a single family tree so as to pass it on to the next generation, with as many old photos as possible (there are/were quite a few remarkably beautiful women on both sides of the family and my vanity demands they be properly documented for posterity !).
Each of us is a unique genetic product resulting from countless generations of people. People who evidently met and had offspring but who also had a face, a name, a history, dreams, problems and some of the same genetic material that makes us what we are. Heredity is amazing. Some of my health problems and some of my daughters's health problems can be directly traced to ancestors of one or two generations back.
I would like to be able to say that we owe it to those who we can still remember and who were so important and dear to us but who are no longer among the living, that we owe it to them not to allow their names or at least their existence be forgotten. But I can't. Life is all about live and let die. It's our own anxiety and perplexity at the certainty that in a hundred years time no one will know we were here, who we were and even less what we were that makes us embrace such projects as keeping family trees. Nevertheless I will. So that I can go on remembering for a little longer.

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