Family history: faded photographs


I saw this image and… well, got a little dusty-eyed.

My father passed away in 2002.  My mother, in 2011, and while she did get to see her first grandchild, she was already in the grip of dementia.  My daughter, of course, doesn’t remember her.  (I have a great picture of my mother holding my daughter, with my wife standing by the nursing home bed… which I entitle “Three generations of Hunt women.”)

Of my own grandparents, I only truly have solid memories of my maternal grandmother and, had we had a second daughter, she would have been named after her.  Of my father’s mother I have vague memories of an old lady in a blue dress in a wheelchair… I remember a glass bell on a table top… and remember my father weeping after she passed (I was so young I didn’t really know what “death” meant; somehow I thought she’d been turned into a totem pole).

I am older; not old, certainly, but I look at my own children and wonder if I’ll make it long enough for my grandkids to sit at my feet as I tell them stories – not only of things I’ve done and places I’ve seen – but also my own memories of ancestors further back.

Write down your memories of your parents and grandparents, and other notable relatives.  Ping older relatives for family tree details.  Get them to go through and label pictures of them – and what they were doing – as well as anyone further back.  I have boxes of pictures from my father’s side… and I don’t know who most of these people are aside from “ancestors somehow.”  Fortunately, I got my mother to label a couple of bags of pictures of her own youth before she died, and with the help of some older relatives identified another bag discovered afterwards.  (If I could have, just for one day, my father back I’d have him play with his grandchildren… and then we’d stay up all night going through all those pictures.)

These are precious things – family lore, understanding your roots, and just knowing what people did who came before you.

Don’t let the chain of your ancestors get broken.  You can, with research, construct black-and-white images of your family tree.  But the stories, the experiences… those are the color.  Don’t let them fade into dry images of meaningless faces with names.

Supporting Israel – Purim Baskets for IDF soldiers

As a Jew, I support Israel.  Don’t worry, as a natural-born citizen of America with roots not just to the Revolution but to the Pilgrims I also support America and as Memorial Day, Independence Day (the Fourth of July is a date; Independence Day is an event), Veterans Day, etc., come along I’ll get those too.

Please note my charity page; doing good to help others, whether in the US or Israel (or anywhere for that matter), is a blessing.  This year, in particular, I will make sure to hit Thanksgiving hard… nobody in America should be hungry on that day especially.  Nobody.

But I’ve noted on several occasions that I am on the Governing Board of Connections Israel, a registered charity in Israel (also a 501c3 in the US).  We’re in the middle of fundraising to give baskets to IDF soldiers.  Here’s the video from last year:

Look at those happy faces.  Over 2,000 baskets were handed out.

I’ve set a personal challenge to help get us to 3,000 baskets – a 50% increase from last year.  To that end I’ve had a guest post on IsraelSeen and, now, on the IDF blog itself!  (Woo hoo!)

Complimenting that and my efforts, the others at Connections Israel set up a page to which to drive possible contributors, especially for little old me.  So please, visit Connections Israel in general, and my page in particular, and if you are inclined to support us after viewing the work we do… donate.  And whether you donate or not, if you support Israel, please share this blogpost on facebook, twitter, linkedin, reddit, etc.

More eyes = more possible donors.

Thank you!