One of the blessings of family history that I like to talk/write about is coming closer to our present family; we feel greater love towards parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. But we can also find and become closer to other family members. What does this mean? Let me share a story. I know I've written about this before, but it has been a miracle in my life that I hope others can see in theirs, too.
Norma is my great-great aunt- my grandmother's aunt. She is from the southern United States, and she is a wonderful woman. She loves her Heavenly Father and family; she keeps Heavenly Father's commandments; she shows me Christ-like love. I have never met her in person, but I am able to speak with her on the phone, by letter, and email from time to time. She is one of the sweetest people I've ever come to know.
I first got to talk to Norma when my grandmother suggested I call or write her for some family history information. I did this, and she was so eager to help me in any way. She told me stories about family members she knew but who have long since passed away. She gave me names of people I wanted to find, and she seemed to know everything about where they were born, when they died, and how they lived. She is a fantastic story teller! She also put me in contact with some of my other distant relatives in other states, a gift that has been priceless to me, for the sake of coming to know my family and in my genealogical research. While not a member of my faith, Norma has been encouraging as I do temple work, allowing me to share my beliefs freely with her. We may be of different religions, but we are able to rejoice together because we both love Jesus and try to serve Him.
My life is a lot happier because of my aunt Norma and the other family members she has brought into my circle of friends. I never would have known her if it hadn't been for family history- needing some information only she could give me. I would encourage any of you to try to find your distant relatives as you search for your ancestors. They are treasures waiting to be uncovered.
You will not regret it! It may take time and effort to find them, but by talking with your grandparents, sending a letter, or making a phone call or two, you could find friends to last a life-time!
How do you connect with you family?