Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I hear your words

On Sunday, with only two staff on the second floor, I was feeling a bit of the grump in anticipation of a busy and run raggedy day, when an older woman approached me with the opening line, "I'm not at all computer literate could you help me with genealogy".
It's a loaded question because it can mean a 30 second interaction or an ongoing process that can take months.
I said sure, and subsequently learned that she actually did know what she was doing and just needed a time frame from a database. She then told me that she had started doing research again after thirteen years, because her son, whom had been killed in the line of duty as a police detective, would have wanted her to. She also said that he would have laughed at her trying to figure out the computer stuff and as far as she was concerned failing at every turn.
On the anniversary of his death, which was July 1st, she talked her grandson into going with her to the library and starting up the process again, so that he could share his family history as his dad had.
I am leaving out tons of details here, including her telling me that she had never shared this the way she was and that she didn't understand why it was all coming out today. I assured her that I had a blog and would be happy to exploit this experience, no wait, I let her know that I understood that she felt like she could tell me for whatever reason and that was fine, then, there were tears, and as she was leaving she put her hand on top of mine and told me her name and I gave her mine and she said, that I helped her more than I could ever know.


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