Fresh coffee, a cuddly throw blanket, and a loyal dog curled at my feet — these are the things that make chilly mornings more bearable. My hands alternately hug my coffee mug and tap out ancestral searches on a keyboard.
How can I best tell the story of someone’s life?
Studying images from historical archives, jotting down minute details that might help me differentiate one German immigrant from another. In a game of hide and seek, I chase the tiniest of details. Piece by agonizing piece, the picture starts to take shape.
Like following a trail of breadcrumbs… It is not the genealogical details that capture my attention, it is the stories. I imagine sitting down and chatting over a cup of tea. “Why come to the new world? What dreams were you chasing? What did you find when you got here? Did your family come with you? What was an average work day like?”
Gathering up shoeboxes of old photos, I desperately hope that someone took the time to leave some identifying information on them. Even a simple, handwritten note shimmers like a light in the darkness. A clue helping to navigate a jumble of details, unraveling the mystery.
If only there had been a little more time, I’d sit at your feet listening with rapt attention, because we all have a story to tell.