I have become my family’s historian by default after my mothers’ side of the family started to pass away. Tubs of pictures, clippings and other items were passed on to my mom and then on to me. I was in awe and a little inundated with the amount of pictures and treasures passed on and even more so, passed on without a story. It would have great if these treasured artifacts had been shared while my grandpa was still alive. I would have loved a direct way in to knowing the people and stories behind the photos.
They are like little time capsules of a time gone by, waiting for the stories and people to be unlocked. I’m pretty sure my siblings find my fascination with history pretty bizarre, but reading though dozens of handwritten letters from my great grandpa and his siblings wound up being great self-care for me during the pandemic. It gave me something to be curious about. It gave me something to connect to. This was oddly soothing putting together the puzzle that had been dropped in my lap.
In an era of anxiety, fear, depression and overall uncertainty, self-care can be anything. What I found to be profound was connecting with where I came from, who my family was and what I continue to carry forward within my family traits. I would take the time all over again to sip on some coffee while deciphering old handwriting and using google translate to decode letters written in German. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good ole handwritten love letter…
Take care of yourself. Take care of others. Find your roots.