We continue today with Jim’s Lesson #5: “Open your arms and be certain to include others in your life.”
Boy, is this ever true in genealogy!  We certainly cannot do this work alone nor would we be doing what we are loving now without many others going before us!
As an aside, this lesson was the most bitter/sweet of the lessons I learned from Jim.  Jim struggled with many demons later in his life.  As a sad matter of fact, he died alone, isolated, mentally tormented by those demons, and left with perhaps the ultimate sadness of not even having anyone claim his body for burial.  At the last moment, the authorities found both Jim’s ex wife and I and we were able to make arrangements for his final needs. As Pam and I stood at his graveside, it was with a terrible sadness in that Jim had brought so incredibly much to each of our lives …. but perhaps never realized the impact he truly had.  I have many regrets that I let my life get in the way of staying in better touch with Jim in those later years.
So as simple as this lesson sounds …. never take it for granted.  It takes hard work to open our arms and include others at times!  This is perhaps why I get so incredibly upset with snobbery in genealogy where an elite few think they need no one in the community but themselves and their egos.  When they look inside, I bet you they find a pretty empty, ugly place within themselves.  
Yes, opening ourselves up to others and including them is risky.  It can hurt.  It can fail.  It can, on the other hand, be the most fulfilling part of life.  Connecting is such a basic need, but so hard to do at times.
So remember to open your arms and include others in this life of genealogy.  If nothing else, it just might make a world of difference to that other person!
Isn’t that what family is all about anyway?
Onward To Our Past,

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