Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Luck of the Draw in Genealogy and 9/11/2001

The Luck of the Draw is said to be the results of chance, a gamble, or coincidence. These critical parts of our lives often happen when we least expect them. We can no more will them to happen or prevent them from happening. Randy Seaver in his blog two days ago wrote about Good Genealogy Luck. He shared the definition of "luck" as "the chance happening of fortunate or adverse events."

Every family has some of each of these types of events in their lives. When on the morning of 9/11/2001 my husband woke me before he left for work, that in and of itself was unusual. Once awakened into a sense of awareness I was gripped by the images being shown on our television. As my four children living at home awoke I explained to each of them what little I understood about what was happening. I wanted them to realize the historic implications of these horrible tragedies. Our prayers went out to all of the impacted families.

My oldest daughter was living in Provo, Utah and all I wanted to do was make contact with her. She was safe with her student group supporting one another. My oldest son was in Pennsylvania at the time serving a mission. He was living right in the middle of where the impacts occurred. We were happy to hear from him and to know he was safe.

Even living on the west coast we are acquainted with people whose loved ones died or were injured. Today as we honor those who were directly affected, watching the faces of those who lost a relative, friend or co-worker, I feel their deep emotions. Our large country seems much smaller when we can view our shared events. It is hard to imagine in times past when communications were much slower. When waiting for a letter or telegraph that was so long in coming. Now by the Internet and cell phones we can know immediately what is happening.

My closest personal experience with tragedy was when I served a mission in Guatemala. Two months after I arrived there was an 8.0 earthquake at three in the morning. About 30,000 people died and many more were injured. I lived there for another fourteen months and experienced the impact of the disasters. It takes a long time for the scars to heal and they remain a part of our lives.

Yesterday I had a serious accident when I fell going into a meeting at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon in Portland. The week before I came alone and was in the exact same place, almost fell, but was able to catch myself. That day I enjoyed a great meeting with the German Interest Group. I even won two of the three door prizes, but gave one back so someone else could have one. The luck of the draw was good that day.

Yesterday my luck came in a different way. I had a good friend with me when I fell, who took charge and got me to my feet. We managed to get downstairs to the GFO and sat down until I could decide what to do. It became obvious to me that my arm needed medical attention, so we prepared to leave. I truly wondered if I could make it to the car. Just then another good friend came walking down the hall. He wasn't really even supposed to be there, but we were glad he was. We were all of the same religious belief and he offered to give me a blessing, which I gladly accepted. Then he helped me to the car and my other friend drove me home.

I am very grateful that they were there when I needed them. The medical personnel were wonderful, even if the wait was very long. I now have a humerus fracture in my right upper arm and it is extremely painful. For the next two months it will slow me down considerably. Typing with one hand is a bummer for a blogger. We will see how I do and you may see a few of my past writings that have not been posted.
As I have said with past injuries I am happy to be alive.

When the luck of our draw changes and our time is up may we be watched over through that transition. Be sure to record these events, so future generations can learn from our experiences. May you feel the spirit of comfort in both the fortunate and the adverse events, as they will come to each of us in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean, last January I fell on my concrete steps and hit the back of my head. I sustained a concussion, but when you think of all the bad things that could happen we were both lucky. Perhaps it was more than "luck."