Tuesday, December 16, 2014

If today was your last day on earth...

If you knew that today was to be your last day on earth, what would you regret not having done in terms of your family history research?

I believe it is safe to assume that most of us, if not all, would want to spend our last day on earth surrounded by loving family and friends; however, just for a moment, think about your last day in terms of your family history research.

Is there a letter you have been thinking of writing to an elderly relative, but you keep putting it off? Do it now. Sit down and put pen to paper. Tell that person how much you love your family history, ask your questions, and explain the hows and whys of the family history you're writing.

Is there a thank you note or an email you wanted to send to an archivist or a researcher who helped you along the way? Perhaps you think too much time has passed to send that note. Send it now. Let them know how much you appreciate their help.

Is there a family secret you would like to better understand? Ask your questions now. Be gentle and respectful in asking. Thank the person who shares with you what they know about it. The histories of our families are precious and they deserve respect.

Is there a repository you have avoided going to, because you're worried that your research skills aren't up to snuff? Go to that repository. Go, and ask for help. Archives, libraries and other repositories are staffed with people who love family history as much as you do, and understand how important it is to document the details of that history. The vast majority of them are more than willing to help.

Is there a trip you've been thinking about, and talking about, for years? Perhaps a trip to your family's homeland? Plan it today. Save for it today. It is possible for you to go. Think about the idea of cutting your cloth according to your measure. You may have to give up some things to make the trip a reality, but it will be worth the sacrifice.

To the family about whom you've been writing your history:

Thank them today.

Tell someone you love them today.

Tell someone you forgive them today.

Not a single one of us is promised tomorrow.


If you knew today was to be your last day on earth, what would you do?

Just do it.



  1. Jennifer, this is a good reminder for people to talk to their older relatives. I regret so much not talking more to our senior members about our family history. Catherine

    1. Thanks very much for your comments, Catherine. I know what you mean. It can be very frustrating to realize after the fact that there were questions that will either go unanswered, or those answers may be more difficult to find.


  2. Food for thought...must reflect on it I think.

    1. Thanks for your 'thought-ful' comment, Pauleen; it is very much appreciated.



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Cheers, Jennifer

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