21 July 2013

Not Forgotten

I was reading an article this morning out of Family Tree Magazine (Jul/Aug 2013, p. 19) by Madonna Dries Christensen in which she related a story about how both her great-grandfather and his young, 12-year-old daughter had been killed by lightning and buried in different cemeteries. The author had always thought the two had been killed at the same time, but after doing some research, she discovered that the little girl had actually been killed 17 years earlier. Four years after the great-grandfather's death, his wife was laid to rest next to him, and a year later, another daughter joined them. These last three deaths happened in the early 1900's, and as often happens, the grave markers which were metal plates, became dislodged and eventually cast aside. More than 100 years later, a descendant found the markers and made it her mission to prompt the other family members to provide a headstone for the three graves. After some effort, the headstone was completed, and the family gathered around to dedicate it.
The author's closing statement quoted an old adage that "claims people are less afraid of dying than they are of being forgotten." That is what caught my attention, but it was the story leading up to it that gave it impact.
Thanks to our bloggers associated with this site and the parent one in Torre le Nocelle, our family members won't be forgotten. Carm, Florindo, and several others have dedicated their lives to making sure that these humble ancestors of our are not and never will be forgotten. Physical records can only last so long, but the monumental effort that has been made to digitize these records will assure that their information will not be lost in the dust, but rather, preserved for future generations who want to search out their people.
I, for one, want to express my sincere thanks for their tireless efforts, commitment, and dedication for all that they do. How grateful I have been to make connections on behalf of my husband's family (although I feel like they're mine) and create a living record of these people. On my last trip a few years ago to Boston, I was able to hand a pedigree chart to one of the more "senior" Domenico's who had done some research himself, and it meant a great deal to him to see the generations going back into the early 1600's.
These ancestors have contributed mightily to who we are today, and we owe them honor and respect for living the lives they did. We may not be able to physically place a headstone on an actual grave, but we are all able to create symbolic ones on our computers.
My sincerest thanks to everyone out there who is doing their best to not let anyone be forgotten!
Jan Domenico


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