Saturday, August 23, 2014

Following The Voices In The Picture

My Paternal Great-Grandparents James & Barbara Fowler (Conaway)

Lately I've been wondering when or if I would get my spark back for genealogy. That extreme, almost 24/7 passion that has kept me up many nights pondering over the life of my ancestors. Over the past six months, work, family and just busy living life have taken over and I've struggled to keep up with my ancestors. I felt uncomfortable at first, almost like I was letting them down by not penning a blog post, not researching, barely giving them a thought. I knew that the story must continue to be told, there was so much more to share. How could I stop? as I tried to fight the feeling, I suddenly remembered something that Luckie Daniels once told me. She said,  "Just Go With The Flow". Sometimes their voice speaks loud and clear, sometimes they barely whisper and sometimes you don't hear them at all. Whatever it is, it's alright. Just when I began to let go and make peace with myself and this new hiatus, a package in the mail found me and the voices of my ancestors were no longer silent.

Several months ago, my cousin Darren told me about an up coming family reunion in Missouri this summer. I couldn't wait to meet the cousins that I had connected with online. Finally I would get to meet my Paternal Grandmother's side of the family. For months I made plans to make the trip..Imagine my  disappointment when I wasn't able to attend. A few weeks later my cousin Elizabeth, whom I've yet to meet, sent me items from the reunion. A Family reunion book, full of pictures, names, dates, kinship reports along with T-shirts and a DVD. I nearly fell off my chair when I opened the package! Smack dead on the front of the book was a picture of my Paternal Great Grandparents, James & Barbara Fowler! I had wondered for so many years what they looked like. It's such a good feeling when you connect with cousins through genealogy and they embrace you  as mine have. I've never met any of them, yet we are family. Looking at their faces, I see my father, my grandmother..I see me.

Pictures really do speak a thousand words. They capture moments in time in the lives of our loved ones and serve as inspiration and encouragement to continue to find ancestors and share their story. I hear them saying "Get up Girl! there's more to find!". I am dedicated to finding my ancestors and sharing their stories, however, the lesson that I'm learning in this journey is that it's alright to take a break from time to time...even our ancestors stopped to rest on their journey.

Following the spirit of the ancestors and going with the Flow..

Cousins at the family reunion 2014


© 2014 Denise Muhammad

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