I've written about my journey into family lines before, encouraging readers to begin their own journey. This time I want to report the excitement of finding old friends, regretably, long since passed, but discovering a tiny bit more about them after we parted.
One such was a junior high (middle school) friend. Pretty, blond with a reserved manner, Nancy was my favorite friend. I don't recall her ever going to movies with me, but she did play board games. We had a group of girls during the last few years of 8th and 9th grades who enjoyed playing games, also. We'd meet at different homes on Saturday and play all afternoon. Then we'd depart and catch the city bus back home.
On one occasion Nancy and I decided to bike (the common means of transportation when you didn't ride the city bus) from her house in west Jackson to a two-lane road in South Jackson--quite a ride. Then, Raymond Road was little used on Saturdays. and years later would be a main road. I took photos of her and she of me of that journey. I found those photos recently in my photo album I kept from seventh grade through high school. After she moved to Tuczon, AZ she sent a few pictures, graduated from college, married and she and her husband became Bible translators for Wycliffe Translators.
Being a member of http://www.ancestry.com/ allows me to enter a name and check birth, death, and censuses primarily on anyone who has died. I found Nancy's death, plus an article from the Tuczon's newspaper about her missionary family returning for several months furlough from Korea. She and her husband lived among native people in the most primitive conditions while translating portions of the New Testament into a language and teaching the natives to read.
At that time I was a new teacher enjoying a semblance of life away from home, eating well, having fun with fellow teachers, all the while Nancy and her family were living opposite. I often thought about her but I didn't know how to get in touch. So using ancestry methods to find my dear friend gave me such an unexpected deja vu.
Next I discovered a family member had entered her profile in the Ancestry bank, and I was able to read that she had died in Tennessee. I wrote that person stating I had photos of Nancy, would he/she want them to complete Nancy's file? Yes, came the answer, and with joy I sent them.
That one day discovering dear friend Nancy gave me the most joy, despite knowing she no longer lives. She had a tremendous spirit of giving, and I know that had I checked in 1995, two years before her death, I would probably found her and visited with her before her death in 1997. My next step is to find where her grown children are located.
Thankfully I have Ancestry's bank of research to discover people who once passed through my life.