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Mixed emotions on a natal anniversary

It is a day on which The Legal Genealogist is profoundly grateful… and profoundly sad.

Grateful for having successfully completed another trip around the sun.

Grateful for the fact that I woke up warm, healthy, secure in my own home, and even with a clown of a cat demanding petting — and his breakfast.

Grateful for being so very lucky to be fully vaccinated now against the terrible virus we have faced in this pandemic.

Grateful for — and only too aware of — the fact that I have now outlived two of my four grandparents, and am closing in fast on a third grandparent and on both of my parents.

Even grateful — or perhaps especially grateful — for the fact that I woke up to sunshine today when the forecast had been for a wintry mix.

Grateful indeed for the fast-approaching spring of 2021.

Mixed emotions

But profoundly sad over what we have all lost during this past trip around the sun.

Sad for the missed reunions, the missed holidays, the missed smiles and hugs, the missed celebrations.

Sad for what so many have suffered and continue to suffer as this pandemic continues.

Sad for the lost opportunities.

And particularly — as I confront the reality of getting older — sad for the lost opportunities for travel.

It had felt bad enough, back last summer, when I admitted to myself that I would not be taking the month-long trip to do boots-on-the-ground German research into my father’s family history that I had cleared the September 2020 decks for and had spent so much time planning — and to which I had been so looking forward.

But today?

Today, I should not be here.

Not in my home.

Not in the state where I live.

Not even in the country where I was born on this day all those many years ago.

Today, I should be in Australia.

Getting together with friends who share my passion for genealogy. Getting to hold yet another koala. Getting up close and personal with those smiles and those hugs.

That will not happen here in 2021. We are early still in the rollout of vaccines in this country and around the world. So many borders are still closed. So many opportunities are still being lost.

It’s just not safe yet to get together in those kinds of groups.

So even as I feel gratitude for another trip around the sun, I will acknowledge the sadness of missing out on some parts of that trip I had so much wanted.

We are all absolutely entitled to those mixed emotions… and will be healthier in the long run if we permit ourselves to grieve what we have lost.

So I am truly grateful for where I am…

And profoundly sad for where I am not.

Here’s to a better year to come…

And, perhaps, to next year’s birthday… In Australia.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “The March of time,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 19 March 2021).

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