Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gathering Rosebuds

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles to-day

To-morrow will be dying.

Robert Herrick's poem has never rang more true for me in these past few days. Although I have been working on my family history since I was a young Boy Scout, there is much that I've yet to discover, and as each day passes opportunities may be lost.

This year our family reunion was postponed, and then canceled due to too many medical issues in the family. Between surgeries and diagnosis of cancer, my paternal aunts and uncles have been dealing with quite a bit of problems this year. Just last month, my mother found out that she had breast cancer. Fortunately, it was detected quickly, and the tests came back negatively for lymph node spread, but it is still a wake up call for the family.

I need to make a concentrated effort to have my family members write down as much about the family history - the stories that make our ancestors "real" people and not just names and dates. Few in the family are as excited as I am about genealogy, and if I don't do it now, this generation will pass on and more memories will be lost.

This past month the paper in Alexandria had two obituaries in the same edition for members of my extended Pierce family. There are still many twigs and branches on the family tree that I've yet to discover and/or flesh out.

While I have the opportunity to do research on my lunch hours in the hometown library of my maternal ancestors, I need to take advantage of the time and start gathering the rosebuds. The Lord may call me away from this area someday and make it more difficult to research these families. Over the years, I've thought that I had my maternal branches pretty well figured out. Now I'm discovering that there is still more to be gathered.

Gather those rosebuds - today.

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