My husband and I recently started a family history project. I’ve always been a history buff and family history intrigues me. My husband and I decided it was time for us to research our families especially for our three children. Our project is to tackle my husband’s side of the family (since my brother has already done massive research into my side). We started looking through census reports, social security records, and began to find long lost ancestors. With every click of the mouse we were “meeting” the people who brought my husband to me. We have two different missions on this journey. Todd is more interested in learning about where he came from. He likes to get back 100’s of years and see the origins of his family. For me, it’s not where he came from, it’s who. I want to know the story of these people. I feel like I need to know more about the people that started the life of the man who truly started mine.
When you see your family tree, with the lines connecting husband and wife and mother and father it gives you a visual reality of how our lives are created by pure chance. It’s the story of those chances that I want to know more about. If Martin hadn’t met Theresa several decades ago, I wouldn’t be here. If Joseph and Mary didn’t leave Ukraine and happen to choose to live in Chicago, my Grandma and Grandpa would have never met and again I wouldn’t be here. It’s amazing how millions of little “chances” have formed the life I have today.
As I sat by my husband at the computer I started to learn about the chances that brought me him. One change in the family tree on that screen and I would not be sitting next to my soul mate. I started to think about our relationship…a classic one of chance. Todd and I are a classic case of “opposites attract”. So when I met him, I wondered if I could date someone so different from me. I can remember asking my friends what I should do, should I take the chance and get to know him better? My reluctance was complicated by the fact I had just gotten out of a horrible relationship. Was I really ready for another relationship? Was he ready to undo the damage of my past relationship? Sure enough, I took the chance and here we are, almost 8 years later, madly in love. I took a chance on Todd. He took a chance on me. And now there our names were together on the family tree. I hang on our family tree with the love of my life, my best friend, my soulmate, and just one change could have made it different.
Then as my thoughts wandered I looked up at our wall with the pictures of J, H, and L smiling at me. One small change in my life and they wouldn’t be here. If I would have gone left when I went right, if I would have missed that call…they wouldn’t be here. I can’t imagine my life without each of my three children, but their existence hinged on so many chances.
Chance. It’s something that’s hard for me to understand, mainly because of the fact that my life feels so meant to be. I am truly happy. I am meant to be with Todd, I am meant to be a Mommy to J, H, and L. Something so meant to be was formed by millions of different chances? It’s a pretty awesome concept to grasp.
So, it’s funny how researching the past can really put your present into perspective. I thank God everyday for the chances that have lead me to where I am today. I can’t wait to see where my chances will lead me next!