Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day – When God Shakes Your Family Tree

As genealogists and family historians, we enjoy thinking about the past lives of our ancestors, not only birth, marriage, and death dates, but who our forebears really were, what their lives consisted of, their struggles and triumphs, their accomplishments and failings.  It’s what we get up in the morning to discover, it’s our bliss.
We sometimes find ourselves abandoning our present daily lives, even going so far as to wish we lived back then, so we could sit and talk to them, ask all those questions we never got to ask, and tell them what an inspiration they have been to us.
We have one big advantage over those who came before us, however. And that is the perspective of hindsight. We know, or are in the process of discovering, how it all comes out in the end.  We’re at the end of the line, looking back, saying “It’s ok, you played your part,” or “I stand on your shoulders,”  or simply “Rest in Peace."
And yet, as much as we hate to admit it, we are not in charge of how it all plays out.  As the saying goes, “We plan, God laughs.”  In truth, days will come which will shatter all our assumptions about our lives, and how bright the future looks.
For this self-appointed family historian, one of those days was April 24th.
On that day, as on the 12th of October in 1987 when we lost little Sarah Dyer only 22 months old, we lost Kerry James Queen, my 20 year old nephew, my sister Robyn and brother-in-law Tom’s youngest son.
Naturally, we are still mourning this tragic loss, grieving together and apart, trying to understand, asking “how can this be happening to Our Family?”
On this Memorial Day, my family will be decorating the graves of relatives who have passed on before us, and especially remembering a fun-loving and caring young man who we thought had his whole life ahead of him.




  1. Beautifully written tribute to your nephew. I can't imagine the loss of someone so young.