Think your mom's dad's dad's dad's mom's dad's mom's dad's dad's dad's mom dad's dad's dad and then think of all their spouses and their moms and dads. Now add in your mom's mom and repeat. When done, move to your dad's mom and dad's dad.
And then do the same thing on your husband's side.
I am not kidding. I have managed to trace back 8 different lines to the early 1700s in York County, PA and King George, VA. I even managed to find the name of the boat my ancestors took in the late 1600s.
We found the militia of our fore fathers in the Revolutionary War and the companies in the Civil War. We discovered a great great grandmother who died in childbirth, a dad who died a few years after his son was born and parents who had 2o children.
We even found pictures, wills and census sheets.
Miley and I managed to fill six poster boards for the tree and then some.
Seven hours later, I was done. I looked at our taped together poster boards and declared 'enough'.
"But what about his wife and her husband? What about her parents?"
I glanced at the boards. There were lots of missing spouses and parents from different lines on the board. It wasn't that we didn't find them. It was that there literally was not enough room and when you get so far in the past, you tend to focus on the main line. I stared at those names, the names of people whose actions made me, me. Looking at the tree, Mike's family combined with mine and my children were a result. And it broke my heart that I did not have the names of their spouses, their parents and their parents. That I did not know what color their eyes were, what they liked to do on Saturday night. That these people were family, my blood, my daughter's blood and I could not fit all of them, every single one of them on the tree.
And then I thought about my own legacy. 250 years from now, would one of my heirs spend a Saturday afternoon with her child marking my name, date of birth and death? Would they know I liked to cook and eat entirely too much pasta? Would they wonder what life was like in 2009? Would they know it was my dream, my goal, that my grandchildren's grandchildren be happy, safe and loved?
I hope they will know. Looking at the names on the list, I am thinking they too shared this dream. Well Peter, Mary and everyone in between, your dream is true. Thank you for the life you shared and the gifts you have given us.
But as far as the pasta, I don't know. Maybe, they'll know. If they still have access to my blog.