It was a time when parents were heroes and this little girl dreamed of becoming a mother not an astrophysicist. (Sorry, Mom!) One of my favorite regular pastimes as a child was getting out my parents’ wedding albums and old college annuals. To this day, there is a lipstick print on an old college photo in the 1960 University of Arkansas annual. For some reason, I recall that playing in Darling Mother’s makeup often preceded the nostalgic wanderings through images of my parents’ lives.
I adore my family. This is one of the constants in my life.
When I was growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s the women’s lib movement was in full swing. Women, including my own mother, were getting out of the house and doing things. My mom really did want me to be a lawyer or astrophysicist.
“Do something with that brain of yours,” she said.
My family, left, circa 1964, right about the time I started kissing pictures of my parents in their photo albums. And my parents as newlyweds in 1962, at Fort Polk during the Berlin Wall crisis, right.
And yet I was still stuck in the mindset that little girls grew up and had babies. Being a mom and having a family was all I knew I wanted.
About the time I outgrew the photo kissing I became a voracious reader, especially biographies. I literally hopped off the school bus every day and ran into the house heading straight to the World Book encyclopedias. My quest: to find more information on the events and personalities introduced in class that day.
And when that wasn’t enough, I begged to be taken to the library where I would check out as many books as I could carry.
Fast forward to my first post-high school reality check and everyone from my teachers to my friends and relations assured me, “yes, you have to go to college and decide what you want to do for a living.” I never did really figure that out. So “in the meantime” I set out to do something I was passionate about, do it really well, and do it beautifully. This has been my way ever since.
People always seemed to show up to pay me to do whatever “it” was. And so, an entrepreneur was born.
And honestly, I was still all about family.
I’m still all about family.
Thanks to a passion for photography, the rise of the internet, and some pretty decent design and wordsmithing skills, I’ve always managed to find a way to work mostly from home and raise my four children. Yes, four. Even after doctors told me not to try having children.
(For sure, if you want to see me do something, tell me I can’t!)
You can bet when the world’s repositories of history and genealogical records became available on the internet I was there. Genealogical research got me through a painful divorce and some tough times as a single mom. It’s still a habit that’s so bad it’s good.
So how did this love of family and beauty result in FHD Media?
About a year ago, three things converged during a three week period along with the sudden realization that my career in medical communications was no longer exciting and meaningful –
• I began going through extensive family archives with my daughter in order to deal with my parents’ sudden decision to sell “our” home.
• I located biological family members for my ex-husband and our children completing a 20 year search in Mexico.
• I solved the 100+ year mystery of my 3rd great grandfather’s paternity.
Sometimes when the right thing at the right time and with the right people presents itself, you just know.
For years, a month or so before each Christmas or birthday I searched for beautiful ways to share the 20 years of genealogical and family history research my passionate hobby had yielded. It was never easy. I had to put it off every time I attempted it because the right solutions just weren’t out there to satisfy my perfecting standards. And who had time to do it all justice from scratch?
And then I found myself the proud custodian of dozens of boxes of priceless treasures from my parents’ attic. This even included things from my grandmother’s estate that I had never really seen before.
And like many other things in my life over the past 50 years, I realized pretty quickly since it’s not out there and I need it, I’ll just build it myself.
Oh, and the other thing – for the past five years, my mom has begun urging me again in the area of career insights. It seems she’s forgiven me my disinterest in being an astrophysicist.
“You’re so good at this, you really should do genealogical work for other people!”
(We’re making progress – our ideas have aligned!)
And she was right. Making the decision to step into my great passionate hobby full time was the best decision I’ve made in years.
Digital technology and the internet may in some ways be eroding our relationship habits. Yet they have also added so much value to our lives and our ability to stay connected across the miles. It’s up to us to design solutions that enhance, rather than replace personal connections and being together in real time.
Even though I’ve always stayed close to my parents, their lives aren’t on the internet at the tip of my fingers. And it’s hard to stay connected to their stories and what matters to them when it’s all locked away in a box in the attic and you’re driving carpool and attending board meetings in another town.
And if we’re not really careful, it’s going to all slip away when we’re not looking.
This isn’t a problem that I’m having. It’s a problem we’re all having as we age and as our parents age.
So there you have it.
Family is what matters. And your family stories should be told beautifully.
I promise you that our team will do them justice.
Pssst: By the way, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, please join our mailing list by entering your email address in the field in the footer of our website to stay in the loop about the products and services we’re building now just for you. And in the meantime, check out our coaching packages to kick start your projects!
Primary Post Photo: My beloved parents in front of the barn that I “helped” build when I was 4 years old. *Yes, my Daddy actually let me paint and help screw in the switchplates! This moment was memorialized by a dear friend, one of the first Family History Detectives™ clients, on a visit about one year before the bittersweet selling of the family homestead. In spite of the dream otherwise, as they say…time waits for no (wo)man.