I want to apologize for not posting much recently but I’ve been super busy with packing, moving, and unpacking. My aunt and cousin came to visit me from Seattle the week before I moved, and were kind enough to bring a few boxes that belonged to my mom and have been in their house for over a decade. When we moved from Seattle to California (almost ten years ago), we only packed what we could fit in our car and drove to California. Everything else stayed in my aunt and cousin’s house. We promised that we would go back, rent a truck, and move everything else later. My mom never got around to going back.
Now that my Mom has passed, everything is mine. It is a long process trying to go through everything – figuring out what can be donated, what to trash, and what to keep. One of the boxes that my aunt and cousin brought was an old green metal box with the “PERSONAL” written on it in permanent marker. I was wondering what could possibly be in there that was important enough for the word PERSONAL and yet unimportant enough that she hasn’t needed it in ten years.
I opened it and quickly realized that I hit the genealogy jackpot. There were receipts and letters documenting the division of my grandparents’ estate and the planning of her funeral after my grandma passed. There were hospital and doctor receipts and letters from my mom’s pregnancy with me, which will come in handy for my medical history since my mom had a lot of complications with her pregnancy. But the real jack pot came when I found a manila folder (the only one in the entire box) that said “Family Documents”.
Staring straight at me was my grandfather’s baptismal certificate from a church in Montana. I looked behind that to find my grandparents’ marriage certificate. I found my grandmother’s confirmation certificate. I found my grandpa’s social security card (which looked brand new – as if it had never been touched). I found my grandpa’s old tax forms which showed his salary information when he worked at McDonald Douglas (an Airplane company). I found my grandpa’s teaching credential to teach aircraft welding at Santa Monica City College. I found baptism certificates for my mom and each of her siblings. I found receipts and letters regarding my Uncle Gene’s burial in 1961. And this was all just the tip of the ice berg.
I instantly began screaming. “DAD!!!! DAD!!! LOOK! LOOK AT THIS!!!” I was jumping up and down. I never imagined that these records still existed or that I would ever see them. I couldn’t believe it. I was elated, excited, and full of energy. My mind was running with the possible information these records would hold. I never imagined any of this would ever happen. It was a miracle. I felt like I was in pure heaven.
Unfortunately, with the move, I haven’t had the chance to really look at the papers or scan them. But trust me, by the end of summer, they will be scanned. You will be seeing these certificates soon.