Wednesday, November 10, 2010

History is disappearing while we wait

When I moved into my new home, I learned that one of the people who lived relatively nearby that I had been hoping to talk with had recently passed away. It was disappointing. An entire perspective on the past - her perspective- is now only to be had second hand. Well, just the other day I learned another person I had hoped to talk with has passed away as well.

Charles Hinson was a descendent of David Hinson. He was a dedicated Methodist, but found the resources of the LDS Family History Library quite valuable.  I have spoke with several people who met him. He was friendly and did not share his ancestor's animosity toward the Church. He knew about his ancestor and the relationship he had with the Missionaries and the LDS Church. If one Family History consultant is to be believed, he even appoligized for his ancestor's actions, though I hardly believe it is even necessary. Anyway, I have been able to use his research into David Hinson's life as a significant starting point.

What I regret is that over the last two years, although I have wanted to meet with him, I have been unable to do so. I could say it wasn't from a lack of trying, but that wouldn't be strictly true. I have tried, just not very hard. So now I have only the research he left behind. I know he must have been so much more than just that.

I almost didn't write this post. While I am sensitive to the fact that when people die they leave behind loved ones who wish they didn't have to go, what I am trying to say is that every day the past slips a little bit further away from us. It doesn't wait until we have time to seek it out.

4 comments:

David Y. said...

[groan]

Ugh. This is so true.

Thanks for the painful reminder.

Amy said...

Ouch. There's a good brother in my ward that I want to interview for a project I'm working on, but he refuses to be interviewed, and each time I see him he looks older and older, and I'm sure one of these days I'll hear about his death, and I will be so sad. But what can be done?! I don't want to stalk the poor old man!

Ardis E. Parshall said...

Your posts are so much more than mere facts, I think in large measure because of the kind of sensitivity you show here. I guess that's why I like your blog so much.

BruceCrow said...

David,
Sorry for the pain ;)

Amy,
Wow, I can sympathize. I know someone who won't let me interview him. But at least he will talk with me in the hall at church. I can piece together parts from several conversations. But it isn't the same.

Ardis,
No one has ever described it to me that way. Thanks.