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Great love hath no man

The Legal Genealogist is in Pittsburgh this week, at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in a new course on the hidden members of our families called Women and Children First! Research Methods for the Hidden Members of the Family.

But my heart and my thoughts are 2000 miles west.

And I’d like to invite the entire genealogical community to join me in wishing two very special people a little bit of luck today.

And to invite you to do it in a very tangible way.

Mike-TamaraOne of those very special people is Tamara Rencher. She’s the one who provides balance and ballast to the Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch, David E. Rencher. Tamara is the yin to David’s yang, his soulmate, mother of his children, joy of his life.

And one heck of a great lady in and of her own right. She’s a funny, kind, gentle soul. She’s always the first to volunteer to help out with just about anything — and with a smile a mile wide.

And she’s not well.

A little over a year ago she was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure due to Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). The doctors told her that her best chance would be to find a “living” kidney donor. And no-one in her family was a close enough match.

The other is someone you’ve read about in this blog before. His name is Michael Hall, and he’s a hoot. Formerly an active-duty Marine (who reminds me you are never ever an ex-Marine), he is a genealogist who has been one of the mainstays of the Preserve the Pensions effort to protect, conserve and digitize the thousands of War of 1812 pension records held by the National Archives.

Michael is also one heck of a great guy in and of his own right. He’s funny, and though he won’t admit it himself, he’s also a kind and gentle soul. The first to volunteer to help out with just about anything — and with a smile a mile wide.

And he is a match for Tamara Rencher as a donor. He can donate one of his kidneys to Tamara.

Today is the day that Michael will give that great gift of life and health to his friend Tamara.

The kidney donation operation should be underway as you read these words.

Tamara, we all hope and pray, will come out of this with a new lease on life and a working kidney.

And Michael…?

Well, Michael says he does not want to come out of this with a hospital room full of flowers.

So, Michael being Michael, he came up with another idea.

What if everyone who thought about sending flowers sent a donation to Preserve the Pensions instead?

That way, we can all express our love, our admiration, our good thoughts and our community’s best wishes to two of our community’s best.

And we can do it in a way that (a) protects the flowers of the west from devastation and (b) actually advances all of our interests.

How about it?

Let’s tell Michael and Tamara what we think of this amazing gift today… and do it with a donation to Preserve the Pensions as a tribute to a living person, for Michael and Tamara.

I hit the donate button just now with $100.

Won’t you please join me on this one?

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