I’m intending to blog on a daily basis regardless, but I thought it would be interesting to recognize NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) anyway. When reading the first of such series of blogs, I’m sure you’re asking yourself what my intentions are for the month of November. And honestly, I don’t know. Some days I might take my writing inspiration from a holiday occuring on that day, whether it bein the US or abroad, sometimes I may write about the anniversary of an historical event that falls on that day, and still other days I may write about a discovery that I made that day either in my own family tree or that of one of my clients. So I hope you’ll go on this journey with me and read my blogs each day… Who knows where we’ll end up by December.
While some people, especially children, consider November 1st National Sugar Coma Day, it’s actually a very important holiday for Christians of all ethnicities as well has Mexicans and Mexican Americans.
All Saints’ Day, is a solemn yet joyous holiday celebrated by both the Catholic Church as well as Protestant denominations to celebrate those that have left this world and gone before us into heaven. As a genealogist, how can this holiday not be very special to me? Every day work with (so to speak) people who have died. Tracking down grave stones, finding death certificates, investigating causes of death, the list goes on. If It wouldn’t be for those that have died, I wouldn’t do what I do. I’ve been blessed; however, to not have to deal with too much death in my personal life. I lost my grandmother on Nov. 20, 2005 and that affected me deeply. She was the one that was really interested in family history, unfortunately we never got around to doing it together. I can feel her with me while I work, especially when I’m researching her side of the family. When I finally located a picture of her maternal grandparents and looked into her grandfather Henry’s eyes only to find my grandmother’s eyes staring back at me, I broke. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to be able to share what I’ve learned with her. I have, on more than one occasion in the past 8 years, even picked up the phone to call her… only to realize seconds later that she wouldn’t answer.
Another heartbreak of missed opportunities that comes along with my research is discovering that a relative has died within my life time, but I never met them. I had such an experience just last night. I finally located the obituary for Ruth Zill, the sister of my maternal grandmother’s maternal aunt only to find that she died a short 6 years ago 2 hours from me. I never met her and I didn’t even attend her funeral. As much as genealogical research is about discovering your past, these experiences have made me frantic to trace more recent branches of my tree to find still living relatives before it’s too late yet again.
Another similar holiday is The Day of the Dead (or in Spanish, El Día de los Muertos). This is a holiday with more ethnic origins rather than religious as it is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico as well as in other countries. El Día de los Muertos is celebrated with large gatherings of family and friends who come together to remember and pray for those that have died. Many people build alters for the departed complete with skulls, flowers, and the person’s food and drink set out.
How do you celebrate All Saints’ Day or El Día de los Muertos?
Do you have a blog about your family history? Leave a link to it in the comments and you’ll get 10% off all fees if you sign a contract with me before Dec. 1. E-mail me at ITFGenealogy@gmail.com to set up your consultation today!