Thursday, January 22, 2004

Why we do this thing called genealogy

Dear Ancestor

Your tombstone stands among the rest
Neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist.
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved.
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot
And come to visit you.
- Author Unknown

Wonderful essay by Stephen Jay Gould on the continuity of life, genetics and family:

GENEALOGY: Bringing the dead back to life and the living back together.

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