2012 has been a most interesting year. Since my children were little, my years have been measured by childhood accomplishments: that’s the year he started high school, that’s the year she started piano. There have been family measurements too: that’s the year we went to the Grand Canyon, that’s the year we sold the house, or that’s the year Grandma died.
This year has been different. There have been no measurements. We didn’t move, no one died, there were no graduations, no great happenings, no exciting journeys around the globe.
This year has, however, been filled with humbling personal victories for me.
If you have ever read my blog, you know I’m into genealogy. I’ve been tracing my family for 30 years. I try to be as accurate as I can, but I realize memories are fuzzy, documents are mis-dated, names are misspelled. This is a fact in genealogy research, so I don’t worry myself too much with perfection of details. Example: I have known since childhood that my grandmother was 59 when she died. When I ordered her birth certificate this year, I found that her birth date was not the year we all thought. She was actually 60 when she died and her tombstone is wrong. See? You just can worry yourself with details. It takes nothing away from my love for my grandmother either way.
So, in 2012, I submitted my genealogy paperwork to three different organizations for membership. I didn’t feel one way or the other about the memberships, but when I was accepted into all three, I realized that my research has indeed been correct and now has been validated by others. More than becoming a member of these organizations, I have been patted on the back for my years of research. I am pleased to say that 2012 will be marked as the year I became a member of the United States Daughters of 1812, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Even better than that, the three memberships are under three different lines in my family tree.
I’ve also held a lifelong desire to write my memoirs for my descendants. I always craved more detail about my great grandparent’s lives, and wished they would have left me something. So, since I was very young, I thought I would someday write my memoirs in case my great grandchild felt the same. Sadly, I don’t really have a fabulous and interesting life, so I have very little to write in a memoir. I’ve spent many hours over the decades with pencil and paper in hand and never could find a way to start.
2012 became the year of writing a memoir! Not mine. My third great grandmother’s. I spent most of the year writing her life story and turned it into a book. I am currently holding the very first printed copy of the paperback and look forward to the official release of “Okatibbee Creek” in a week or so. I’ve written stories and music my whole life, but I have never completed a novel before, so I am speechless to be holding this book. The fact that it is a family history, a memoir, the family book I’ve always wanted to write, the family history I’ve always wanted to read, gives me great pleasure and validation – validation of my family history, validation of my dreams, validation that 2012 was a year well spent.
It is bittersweet to say goodbye to 2012. It will be remembered as: that’s the year I was validated.