Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Maintaining Family Relationships... Or To Do Better...

Years ago, I did better at maintaining familial relationships – whether via snail mail letters, phone calls, email, or actual person to person visits – it seems then I was much closer to ‘family’ than in recent years. I can’t pinpoint exactly what happened that caused my drift… Business of life, I guess.
When plotting my “New Year’s Resolutions” a few months back – family members [living, breathing] were one of my priorities – great in theory, but apparently harder in reality.
I was reminded of the importance of maintaining relationships with extended family, just a couple of weeks ago, at the funeral of a “cousin” – this relative was a lovely lady – 80 years young – who I’d been in contact with many years ago – in my early research days – and we’d cross paths fairly often at family events [funerals usually] & have a chat.  We only lived 20 miles apart and when we first met, she was about 60 years old… and I guess I thought she’d be around forever…. So it was with some sadness that I attended her funeral… and listened to wonderful stories of her and her life… and felt a sense of disappointment that I didn’t better nurture a relationship with her and her family.
As a ‘younger genealogist’ there are many more members in my ‘older generation’ than in the families of many other genealogists. In fact, there are still ‘relatives’ around from the generation of my Great-Grandparents— though these numbers are quickly waning.
With today’s technology and the age of the “internet weekend warrior genealogists” – I think it’s easy to let these relationships languish or never truly develop them in the first place – as so much research is now done without the older family members it once required — and in today’s busy world it is even more of a challenge!
Visit last month with my favorite Great-Aunt, age 89 years!
Now that Summer is into full swing and the year is already half over, I have created a list of family members to visit! It is easy to put off these visits [some I’ve put off for years!]… and it’s not like it is really a chore… these are people I care about and enjoy… it is just a matter of coordinating schedules and a little planning!
It is important to me… and I’m looking forward to it! I don’t want to be sitting at another funeral feeling regret over a relationship I let languish. 

What about you? Do you have relatives you have been meaning to visit? I encourage you to do that… in fact I challenge you to prioritize some of the family visits as well!

Don’t put it off… you’ll be happy you didn’t!


  1. Excellent advice! Unfortunately, I didn't begin my genealogy research until AFTER my grandfather passed away. I was in my 30's at that time and a busy mom of five young children ages 11 and under.

    You have a great advantage being a "younger genealogist" than I had when I began. I now have so many questions I wish I could ask my grandfather, but it's too late now.

    So, yes, this is wonderful advice!

  2. Nicholas,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. I know Jana... I had 3 Grandparents & a Great-Grandma still, when I began genealogy! Not to mention Aunts & Uncles galore! The information I got from, and memories I have of, these wonderful folks is truly priceless!

      And thanks for honoring me in your Fab Finds post... much appreciated!!

      Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Lovely, thoughtful post and so true. I loved the picture.

    1. Thanks, Ellie! The picture will be a special remembrance someday!