I think our search for ancestors is almost always a search for ourselves. Ironic, isn’t it, that the best stories about family aren’t found in a census record or probate file. Instead, they’re hidding in plain sight in those rare moments of grace we spend with family. Often unplanned, unscripted, certainly unexpected, they are the moments when the family’s new history is being written.
In October 2010, my sister, Vicki, and I went to Hiawatha, Kansas to celebrate my aunt’s 90th birthday. To be honest, there were no ah-ha genealogy finds or side-trips to the courthouse. But the trip was brimming over with memories in the making.
My sister sitting in the driveway carving a pumpkin.
My aunt giving me “the look”.
My cousin Peggy with her mom, Hiawatha’s beautiful maples behind her.
Peggy and Vicki at Hiawatha’s Halloween Day Parade – the oldest in the country.
The old-fashioned chili supper in the church basement.
My sister playing old hymns on the piano at my uncle’s church.
The smell of fall in the air.
The late night intimate talks around the kitchen table . . . mostly about my aunt’s past and the family’s history.
Moments of grace.
That trip was the last time I saw my aunt. But the stories linger and the moments of grace remain.
Does it get any better than this?