Readers of LongLostRelatives.net may have noticed my conspicuous absence from the blogging world the last few months, even though I've continued to remain active on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
But I'm getting back in the swing again after some life interruptions and just being very busy!
I've written before about being my father's caregiver for the last few years. Dad had a stroke in October and I took several weeks off work to aid in his recovery. Fortunately, he had no paralysis, but he has aphasia, the inability to always be able to say the words he wants to say. His speech is gradually coming back and we actually were able to have a fairly lengthy conversation last evening and most of the desired words were there.
His loss of communication skills hit the genealogist in me very hard. I've been with him for eight years and clearly, I took our daily interaction and his stories about his life for granted. I've made a few recordings of his reminiscences, but I guess I always thought I would have more time to do that. As he lay in the hospital, unable to find the most basic words to convey his needs, I began to grieve the loss of the stories I might never hear again.
My advice to all my fellow family historians: record and document those stories NOW - before it's too late. We are all living on borrowed time, so capture the memories while you can.
I'm happy to report that Dad has eased back into his daily routine and we are returning to the life that is "normal" for us.
During the time I was off work, I had plenty of time to contemplate my own life, what I want to do with the rest of it and easily made the decision to give up my day job after 40 years of public service with the state of Nebraska. Since I've made it official, I can now share that information. My last day of work will be January 31, 2013. To say that I'm giddy about being able to devote more time to family history, genealogy speaking and writing is an understatement. I'm really going to be able to live my dream and do what is best for Dad and me. I think he is even more excited than I am!
The "busy" part is due to having been elected to the board of directors of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society in August. This is a very exciting time for our society as we branch out with our weekly education activities and special interest groups, in addition to our monthly programs. We have some very exciting programs and events in the works for 2013. We will be finalizing those plans at a committee meeting this Sunday. It has also been fun to gear up our online presence with our Facebook page, Twitter feed and blog. Al Harlow, our webmaster, does a great job with the LLCGS web site - and all of our online activities feed into one another. We sponsored a fall conference featuring Hank Jones, Jr. in October. He's one of the best!
In October, I was guest speaker at the Wymore Public Library in Wymore, Nebraska. My talk was sponsored by the Friends of the Wymore Library. I had a great time - many thanks to Jan and Janet for making that possible.
Thanks to the readers of LongLostRelatives.net for your continued and ongoing support. I'm looking forward to a fun and exciting 2013! And more frequent blogging!