My sons (or variously, my brothers) helped me move mattresses and bed frames to another pile of “things we might want.” The family reunion we seemed to be attending was almost over and my uncle was ready to go home and join his wife. (In real life, this particular aunt has just died and “gone home to join her husband.” Ah, dreams.)
My son, who was valiantly helping me, hurt his hands in the process of moving the large items, but continued the work. My brother, on the other hand, declared himself finished with this madness and left to go to bed. My cousin who was there grew bored and reminded me that her dad needed to leave. I felt the pressures of my helpers’ pain (waiting, getting hurt, getting fed up) but I couldn’t stop. I continued to walk down memory lane, walking, not even able to run, but carefully examining each item. Why? Although we occasionally discovered some valuables (jewels, if you will), what I was getting out of this process were not the bits and pieces I was looking through, but knowledge and insight about my own life.
If you have sorted through the lives of family members or even your own life in the process of writing or preparing to write family history, you understand this dream. If not, grab a helper or two and tackle a pile of stuff, either real or imagined, and learn what it has to teach you about living and about yourself. Hope to see you at rootstech where we will continue this journey.