"I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond.
And their eyes were my eyes.
I can not just post a picture and let it speak for itself. I don't care if a picture says a thousand words, there's always a story that needs to be TOLD.
This has become one of my favorite "contemporary" photos. I have many favorite ancestral photos, but this one taken just 11 days ago means so much to me.
I did not even know my paternal grandfather until I was maybe 10 years old. He wasn't spoken of often in our home, and when he was it was not in a positive light. I didn't understand what had happened other than my grandparents were divorced, and grandpa was not around. Oh, eventually we were introduced and a relationship was established - but even that diminished when my own parents were divorced, and as I grew up, got married and moved out of state.
When I was bitten by the genealogy bug, word spread to my grandfather and his wife (who until that point was the only "family historian") and soon, that relationship was slowly being restored. Phone calls, letters, birthday cards, and family history "goodies" are now constantly being exchanged between us.
When I first discovered that my paternal ancestors had been in New York before they settled in southern Ohio, I couldn't believe my luck. It was like coming full circle. My husband and I had moved to western New York years prior for his job and to be near his family - yet here we were just a few hours away from where MY family once lived! And the first time I travelled that short distance and found the fields they had farmed, travelled on the roads they had travelled, and stood at the grave of my 5th great-grandfather on that hilltop cemetery - THAT was the place where I felt connected to my ancestors.
I also knew that I wanted to share that feeling with my grandparents and my father. Moses Hulbert and his family lived so close to where I live now, and I don't believe it was an accident that this interest in my family history hit me after I had moved here. 11 days ago, I was given the opportunity. Once again I travelled the roads, up and down the hills, and found myself on that hilltop at the cemetery of my 5th great-grandparents. This time with my father and my grandfather.
Grandpa turns 85 in March. I know our time together is limited, especially as distance becomes a struggle. I am grateful for this weekend that we were able to share together as family.