Last week the first batch of newsletters went out to 100 cousins on my father's side of the family. It's been two-and-a-half years since I've worked on the newsletters, which I sent yearly from 2000-2014. I still have to work on the four other branches I have been sending newsletters to since completing the family trees of my parents and in-laws. This time, I decided to work backward and started on Volume 5, Issue 15. The responses were uplifting.
My newsletters include updates on various family members and importantly, tell more about who I am. My relatives around the world know the name "Sharon," because I'm the one who keeps them up on the family news.
While working to finish my book, which details my family story, and prepare it for my literary agent to submit to publishers, coupled with home repairs, graduations, and the wedding of our eldest son, there was no time to get the newsletters out. After a hiatus, I spent months putting together this year's 40-page newsletter and emailing them last week.
There is no greater payment for this labor of love than to receive more sharable family news from far-flung relatives. Hearing that cousins are enjoying learning about their own tribe is heartwarming. Seeing photographs of relatives is fun. Learning more about our past fulfills my passion. A newsletter was a great place to start. Rejuvenating ours has been hard work, but well received.
If you'll excuse me, I have four more newsletters to complete. The easy part was having the pages of my nuclear family all done and copied to the other volumes. Now for the interesting telephone calls to get the updates from the others, add them to their respective newsletters, hit "send," and wait for the responses.