One of my big regrets in life is not asking enough questions about my parents’ and grandparents’ ancestry when they were still alive. I didn’t care much about the family tree when I was a kid or even as a young adult. Now they’re gone and their stories died with them. Had I known how much it would mean to me now, I would have asked them to tell me more stories about their lives and the lives of their parents and grandparents.
That’s the bummer about genealogy – it’s fairly easy to get the data, the certificates and the facts, but what’s really missing and what means the most are the stories. Who were these people? What were their beliefs? What hardships did they endure? What brought them joy?
My message to young people out there is this – even though it may seem like a drag now, talk to your parents and your grandparents. Ask them lots of questions and write it all down. It may not seem valuable now, but trust me, a day will come when you’ll be glad you did. There’s an old African proverb that goes something like this – “When an old man dies, a library burns.”
Written by Susan 3/20/19
I live in California and one of my BFFs lives in Pennsylvania, so we talk on the phone every week or so for 1-2 hours. She’s currently pursuing advanced education in geo science and environmental studies and we have some really interesting conversations. A couple of weeks ago we talked about sea sponges and last week we talked at length about rocks. It was fascinating and it really peaked my interest, so I wrote her this letter.
You’re such a jewel. I just want to say you rock my world, I lava you, and I’ll never take you for granite. No fracking way. I really dig you and our phone calls, and I get sedimental when I think of you.
But sometimes life can make us feel like we’re on a ferrous wheel. Schist happens. If you ever hit rock bottom, lose you’re apatite, feel pressured and can’t take the friction, I’m here for you if you want to talc about it.
The world is full of alkynes of people and I certainly have my faults, but I’ll never lucite of how much your friendship means to me. We’ve been through some tuff times together and we’ve seen each other through some personal eruptions too, but nothing will ever erode the bedrock foundation of our friendship.
If you ever need cheering up, my advice is to put on some music – the Rolling Stones, perhaps. Or go shopping and look for a good shale. Maybe a game of golf at Pebble Beach. In no time your confidence will come back and you’ll be feeling boulder.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this letter and that my humor didn’t fluorite over your head. Have a gneiss day and may the quartz be with you.
Written by Susan 3/15/19
[Photo: Agate rock, New Mexico]