This is so important. Unfortunately, when we are young we just don’t think about the fact we could lose a parent or grandparent sooner than we expect. Even during our working years we may never have thought about what we might want to know while we can still ask.

That really hit home after my parents were gone and I was going through their photo albums. There were many strange places and faces in them I wish I had asked about when I could. My father traveled to many parts of the world when I was young, but I knew only a bit about what he did there. I have many historic photos but know only vaguely where they came from and what they are — not enough to write much about them.

I know much more about my mother’s side of the family because she told many family stories. My dad rarely did and his siblings and parents all lived across the country from me. I only met them a couple of times. Now a cousin and I are trying to fill in some blanks as we compare notes. I think we often just don’t realize what we don’t know while the people who can answer our questions are still here.

Christian, bereaved adoptive mom, blogger, amateur nature photographer, voracious reader. Married 54 years. Central Coast of California.

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