Posted by: Kelly Deeny | May 24, 2012

I Talk to Dead People

…At least, that’s what I call doing genealogy work.

I’ve always been a family-oriented individual. I loved going to reunions, spending my summers with my mom’s side of the family and looking at photographs of my parents in their childhood days.  Holidays were, and still are, an event to look forward to simply because I get to spend time with my parents, sisters, nephews, niece and extended relatives.  There’s good food, lots of laughter and competitive board gaming to be had!

But in all my affinity for family I didn’t become interested in ancestry research until a few years ago; with the passing of my paternal grandfather’s last sibling.  I started thinking about how much I didn’t know.  About the lives they lived.  Growing up during the Depression and WWII must’ve had an impact.  Now, I don’t have them to ask those questions. 

In thinking more and more on this topic I started looking at my ancestors as more than people who lived before me.  They became characters in their own stories.  Individuals who felt all the same emotions that we do.  Who experienced hope, sadness, turmoil and fulfillment of dreams.  They weren’t merely faces and names, they were complex individuals whose existence mattered.

Ultimately, my interest in their stories merged into my love of creative writing.  The idea that they have something to teach us led me to create a novel heavily influenced on family.  As my protagnist meets those who came before she finds strength for what’s to come!

 

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