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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Silver Linings

Despite my advancing years, my father was always Daddy to me. My evening commute was often spent visiting with him on my cell phone. Every conversation included hearty laughter on both sides of the line. I miss that the most.

The compassion shared by others has been overwhelming. There aren't words enough to thank everyone who reached out with comforting thoughts and more. Your kind words and deeds helped in many ways.

A dear friend of mine refers to this type of experience as an AFGO; "another flippin' growth opportunity". In that spirit, here's what I've learned:

Every family needs an active genealogist. All eyes turned to me when the funeral director asked about names, places and dates. I wrote Daddy's obituary for the living as well as for his great-great-great grandchildren.

Every genealogist must interview his or her own family members. The tapes on which my dad talked about his life are among my most precious possessions.

Every grief-stricken child needs a clear-thinking genealogist to lean on. My husband is my hero. He was the genealogist I couldn't be in those first few action-packed days; locating another source for Army discharge papers, assembling groups of relatives for photographs, gathering printed materials for Daddy's genealogy file, and so much more.

Every picture tells a story. I looked through hundreds of photographs while preparing a memory board for my dad's church service. And I realized how quickly our stories can be lost if they aren't written down for the next generation.

So as part of my healing process, this genealogist is also becoming a scrapbooker. I attended my first workshop last night. The scrapbook I'm creating is filled with mementos and pictures of a handsome young man named Bill.

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