Bittersweet

I apologize for the long gap between postings. A lot has happened over the past few weeks and I’m just now getting in a place of being able to blog and write again.

Back in October, I got the painful news that my Father had passed away. Shortly before that, I told him I wanted to do research on the family’s history and he gave me the names of family members such as great-grandparents and great-great aunts who either died when I was very young or whom I never got to meet. It would be the last conversation I had with my father–a realization that haunts me. I took leave of my job and traveled from Louisiana back to my hometown in Georgia. Sadly as is the case with many families I know, it usually takes a death in the family to bring people together and I’m no exception. I got to reconnect with family I haven’t seen in many years. My father knew everybody in our small town and so his passing hit everybody hard.

I told them about my project and I got more names. A good chunk of my family members use nicknames (that are completely unrelated to their given names) to the point where some family members were surprised to hear people’s government names–mine included. Too soon it was time to go back home. I was homesick as soon as I got on the bus. My roots run deep in Georgia and I’d never really appreciated that before.

Everyone is excited to see what I’ll find as I investigate our family tree more closely and I’m more determined than ever to get started researching. In preparation, I ordered a book entitled Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity by Dr. Dee Parmer Woodtor from Amazon. I discovered it at the front desk at work one day and skimmed through it. I found some great information and resources so I had to have it for myself. It arrived this past Saturday, so I’ll be formulating my plan of action in the coming days.

It would’ve been fun to do this project with my father. I’ll definitely miss him. But it’s good to know there is no shortage of other family more than willing to help. My paternal aunt for instance.
It’s going to be an interesting journey.
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