Have you ever wanted something so badly that you can just taste it? Feel it? Every fiber screams out, “Just do it!” Except, you can’t. At least not now. Maybe never. Life’s wants and dreams sprout from an early age and whisper to us, beckoning to take that job or make that decision. Sometimes it’s conscious, but other times it is not. For me, my life’s wants and dreams whispered from a young age and intensified over the years. Now, the urgency drowns out most everything else.
No, I’m not talking about this horrible virus; although, it’s added some urgency. And it’s not age, because I’ve still got a few more trips/rounds left in this body. I guess you could say that my life’s wants and dreams have hijacked the trajectory of my life and quite possibly those of my loved ones.
It all began with a class…
A little over 25 years ago, I attended a community event with my mom. Both she and I itched to hit the library archives and what little internet there was to trace our family’s lineage. It was Genealogy for Beginners or something like that. Anyway, hopeful and jubilant, we showed up and learned over the course of a few hours how difficult that task would become. Yet, we soldiered on. And then a beautiful thing happened.
With the advent of the internet, our lives expanded in ways that probably no one could have imagined, and our journey to find out where we came from compelled us on. Sure, there were times of naught, but that didn’t deter us. Over the years, we’d gathered information. A little tidbit here, a maybe over there, but all in all, we’d collected a volume of information worthy of praise.
On my mom’s side, a few things stood out. We’re Welsh, a smidge Irish, English, and Scottish. How exhilarating to find out when we crossed the pond and the towns we matriculated from. While the stories are lost to history, we traced our ancestors path to the Americas, and SURPRISE… some arrived on The Mayflower.
Yep, the shock tickled me pink, but we still couldn’t trace much further back than that.
But something was missing…
The glee of finding the scant material that we had should have elated us both, but it didn’t. Sure, we rejoiced over the findings, but for me, the hunger persisted. We wanted more. And for me, I wanted, no, scratch that, I needed to trace my father’s side.
We had a country of origin, a name, and an approximate date of birth. We even knew the region of the country that they came from. Plus, they immigrated in the early 1900s. Even better, right?
For over twenty years, I searched. When the census information was made available form the early 1900s, I rejoiced. Now we’re going to get somewhere, but each time I searched, the “No results” phrase kept popping up. My dreams were dashed yet again. This became a habit over the two decades I’d searched, but then, like a ray of sunshine that broke through the storm, there it was. A possible hint.
Dare to dream.
Emotions ran wild. I felt my heart thundering inside my chest, my body shook with anticipation as my husband e-mailed what looked like a relative. Golly, how I agonized over those hours and days until we got a response. I believe that I brought my husband to the brink of annoyance until there it was.
With trembling fingers, I had my husband open it. After all, there’d been too many times, too many dreams dashed at the last second.
Then, he smiled. “What?” I asked, or rather demanded. “What does it say?”
My husband turns to me with that big smile and said, “We’ve found them. We’ve found your family.”
I’ll be honest. I cried. And not the delicate kind of crying either. I sobbed and was barely able to catch my breath. So many thoughts, feelings, and questions.
That was a few years ago, and I still get teary eyed just thinking about it. Life would never be the same.
Indeed, life’s amazing. These lost family members, these magnificent few, mean more to me than I’ll ever be able to express. My father, who’d searched and wondered his entire life, finally found his long lost family.
Family Reunion Time!
It took a couple of years after reaching our family to get both of my parents over the ocean to meet these wonderful people (Have I mentioned how awesome these people are?) There are uncles and cousins, not to mention the stories, that fill the soul with joy, and my dad got to SEE them in person. Hug them. Hear them.
Folks, there’s nothing better.
Why do I ache then?
The joy in fulfilling someone else’s lifelong dream, that subsequently emerged into an obsession to some extent, is immeasurable. And yet, I still feel a void. A hole in my soul and heart call out. I, too, want to travel abroad to meet these fantastic people. These wonderful few are my people. They are my family, and I long to see them in person. While this pandemic rages on, that’s impossible. Hopefully, this will pass shortly. However, that doesn’t solve the issue. I still don’t have the means to travel. While I won’t get into the details for privacy’s sake, I face the uncertainty of it all.
Now, most of you, if you’ve followed me for a little bit, will know that I’m Norwegian American. My family, these extraordinary people, that I speak of are Norwegian. The culture, the country, the people… it’s all amazing. I yearn to visit and yet that may not happen. But there’s one thing that I do know and it’s this: Don’t ever give up on your dreams.
For it is our dreams, our life’s wants and dreams, that sustain us. They keep us going when times get tough, and the world knows how tough Norwegians are. They are master craftsmen, artists, singers, engineers, computer specialists, healthcare workers… the list goes on. For me, they are a breath of fresh air, a balm to my soul.
So, the ache will continue, but one day, fingers crossed, it’ll be relieved. One day, hopefully in the near future, I’ll visit Norge. And when I do, you better believe that tears of joy will fall like rain down my face, and maybe then I’ll walk along the beaches (that keep invading my night’s slumber) feeling lighter than I have in years. Because when your DNA calls, you answer it.
Norge, I’m coming home. That’s a promise!
What are your life’s wants and dreams?
I love to hear from you! What are your life’s wants and dreams? It’s never too late. Comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if that’s more appealing. Don’t forget to dream though, folks. Remember, dreams are the wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep;-)
Next week, I’ll be posting another Histories Mysteries! But until then, be safe, be happy, dream big…
And happy reading,
P.S. Norge, jeg elsker deg!