There is one thing that scares me more than anything. More than spiders or drowning or death. I am terrified of being forgotten. One day it occurred to me that, pending the destruction of all computer technology and internet servers, my grand, great grand, great great grand children and so on will simply be able to Google me or pull up my facebook page to find out practically anything they want to know about me. The internet never forgets. That idea in a way makes me feel more secure about not being forgotten. My memory lost to time. But Tom and Alice, Chris and Augusta, Willie Mae and Simon, William and Mertis; who remembers their names? Who tells their stories of joy and heartbreak? Who shares their pictures and tags their friends? I am who I am in part because of who these mysterious barely known people were and how they lived and died. Their stories are entwined with mine in so many ways I will never know.
My ancestors were not all good or all bad. Some fought hard to gain an education or keep their hard earned land, and some just fought each other. They loved and lost and struggled against the times and society they were raised in. Their stories are powerful and ordinary and they thrill me, make me laugh and hurt my heart. These are my people, my family. I do not want to be forgotten and neither should they.