I didn't feel like it. I was tired. I was shy. I was in Elora to visit him, not strangers. Those were my excuses. Mind you I was a lot younger then. I was in my 30s and even though I loved genealogy I guess I just didn't have it as my top priority.
They are all dead now. Uncle Joe, his Uncle Henry, his cousin Dan and many others I never met and whose names I've forgotten! A missed opportunity.
My dad used to take us to Guelph every month to visit his mother and brothers. While there we always went to see his Aunt Mary (his father's sister). She was, I suspect, the keeper of the family treasures, knowledge and photographs. She was married but childless and my dad was very fond of her. I was terrified of her and her husband because they seemed so old and dour to me! Even her clothes frightened me.
Then my father died. I was 14 years old. My mother and I continued going to Guelph to visit his mother (my grandmother) but we never visited Aunt Mary again. She lived until I was 20 years old! I've no idea who cleared out her house in Guelph but I sigh now to think of all the photos that no doubt were there tucked away in albums or in boxes. I've never seen a photo of my great-grandfather Alex McGinnis and would love to know more about him.
Mary was his eldest child and was the only one I know of who had anything to do with him after he and her mother separated in the 1890s. Mary erected a tombstone at his grave and paid for his burial. I am convinced she had photos and other memorabilia about Alex. If only my mom had kept in touch! If only I had sought her out as a young adult. If only I could have whispered in my own ear from the future "Ask to see family photos!" "Ask about her father Alex and his parents Joseph and Fanny!" Another missed opportunity.
|Pratt pot lid|
Some chances we are entirely accountable for missing. Others were missed because of circumstances beyond our control. But no matter the reason, we lose the opportunity.
Do you have an elderly relative you've been meaning to visit? To ask about their memories? Do it! Don't wait or you may miss a golden opportunity. Remember.... Carpe Diem! Seize the Day.