October 20, 2015

Back in the Saddle

My dad, Edward (Eddie) Ballenger

Those of you who follow this blog may have noticed it's been a bit quiet around here lately. The truth is, I experienced a personal high and low in the same week in June, and it’s taken me awhile to find my balance again.

The high point was that I attended Judy Russell’s course, Advanced Methodology & Evidence Analysis, at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University. And it was fantastic! Judy, the other instructors, and my fellow classmates made for an amazing learning experience. I was honored to be one of the recipients of the Birdie Monk Holsclaw Memorial Scholarship, along with my dear friend and colleague Laura Prescott. 

Completing this course was a goal I’ve had for a long time, and it was all I hoped it’d be.

The low point was that my father passed away while I was there. He had been ill for some time, but not critically so, and his death was unexpected. Wrestling with my emotions and the decision of whether or not to leave Samford and go home took more than a little wind out of my sails (an analogy my dad, an avid sailor, would appreciate). In the end, the funeral was slated for the following week, and I was able to help with arrangements from afar by sending digitized photos for his memorial slideshow. I finished the course and still got home two days before calling hours.

Simultaneously, in another state, my 91-year-old father-in-law became ill, and we literally flew from my father’s funeral to be with him. Happily, he recovered and is doing pretty well now, all things considered.

Needless to say, though, the whole experience left me drained. Blogging ended up being the last thing on my mind. As time went by, it seemed harder and harder to pick it up again.

But thanks to encouragement from my friends and family, I’m back. As genealogists, we talk about our ancestors’ friends and associates as a critical component of their lives. Well, it works that way in the present too, doesn’t it? Those close to us have a way of standing by us and nudging us to continue on.

Today happens to be the fifth anniversary of the day I oh-so-tentatively entered my first post on A Sense of Family. So it’s the perfect time to say thank you to all my readers, whether you’ve followed me from the beginning, just recently stumbled upon my site, or fall somewhere in-between. A special thanks to everyone who has stuck by me through this quiet time. I hope to get back to blogging more regularly and sharing more of my discoveries with you in the coming year.

And I hope you’ll share with me as well, because it’s much more fun that way! I love seeing your comments and questions.

On we go... 

--Shelley

8 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about you the other day, Shelley. I assumed you were busy with your work and didn't have time to blog. I'm so sorry to learn of your father's death.

    Congratulations on your course in the summer and on five years of blogging. Welcome back.

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! I appreciate the thoughts.

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  2. Shelley, So sorry to hear about your dad. Condolences to you and your family.
    I am glad to see you back at the blog. -Mark

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    1. Thanks so much, Mark. It's great to hear from you.

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  3. Thanks for sharing that beautiful picture of your father, so sorry to hear of his passing.Welcome back to blogging, Shelley.

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  4. I'm sorry for your loss of your Dad. That is a wonderful picture to have of him. Thank you for sharing it.

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  5. I'm sorry to hear about your dad. The picture is beautiful. A wonderful memory.

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  6. I'm terribly sorry for your loss Shelly. Been missing you this summer. Good to have you back!

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