February 10, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

Ahnentafel Tree

Oscar and Gertrude Rahe.

Today, I ported a couple of templates from Wikipedia, one of which I used to create an Ahnentafel family tree, or ancestor table for myself. After fumbling through it a bit, its numbering system started to make sense. Now I just have to get the information for it. It seems odd that names and people can be forgotten so quickly. Mom knew her grandparents’ names, but nothing beyond that. I know it’s not that we don’t care most of the time—it’s just life gets in the way, right?

If Thích Nhất Hạnh is correct and our ancestors speak through us, it seems important to get some sense of who they were. I know that Hạnh means this on another level—that they are integral components to who we were, so they are in a sense alive inside of us—but I think there’s something to be said for a literal knowing them, too.

I keep thinking of taking a motorcycle trip north this May to visit some libraries in Kentucky and Ohio. I’d also like to walk through Beattyville—a place I kind of knew a child—but see Dad’s hometown with older eyes, but a newer perspective. I could also spend some time with Dad and Mom to record some of their memories. I think having them write them down is a good idea, but I’ll likely get more through conversations.