I haven't written a column in a while due to writer's block, and drifting away from my genealogy due to life in general.
However, as I've always said, when the genealogy bug bites, it is always just under the skin and it only takes one little incident to bring it back full force. In this case, it was a simple needle prick.
This came to pass just recently in a most unexpected way. In fact, I didn't believe it myself until it was confirmed by others.
I had finally made an appointment to have some long-needed outpatient surgery. The day came, and of course, genealogy was the last thing on my mind.
As I lay on the surgery table, I was patted and reassured by the nice nurses that everything would be fine. I would only be asleep for a few minutes, and when I woke up, everything would be over. Then the nurse slipped the needle into my arm (almost painlessly).
A few minutes later, I was instantly wide-awake. There were two nurses standing above my head, just out of sight, having a conversation. It concerned the sister of one grandmother being related to someone else in the family, and they were wondering what relationship that made these people to each other.
I was right there with them. I remember saying, "Oh, you are talking about genealogy."
I'm sure they must have been pretty surprised, and maybe annoyed, to have the patient join in on their private conversation. They answered me back and agreed that they were indeed discussing genealogy. I told them I was a genealogist and if only I had my computer with me, I could give them their answer immediately; of all times not to have my computer with me and just when I needed it. Why didn't I think to take it to the surgery room? Genealogy lesson one: Always have your data close at hand.
A few minutes later, a nice nurse was slipping the needle out of my arm, and I asked her who was asking the genealogy question.
"Oh, that was the surgery nurses," she said. "You are now in recovery."
We agreed that I must have taken another little nap after my conversation. I remember telling her that they had my information, and if they needed my help, they knew where to find me. I guess those drugs cause the ego to inflate dramatically.
After leaving the facility, I began to think about this with skepticism, and suspect that it was a dream, but it seemed so real.
I didn't have any names or faces to put with this incident, and I didn't want to make any bigger fool of myself by going back and asking everyone if it really happened. So how was I ever going to know if it was real or a dream?
On my next visit, I asked how long I had been asleep. Then I asked if it was possible to wake up in the surgery room.
"Why?" asked the doctor. "Did you want to?"
I explained that I thought that maybe I had, but wasn't sure if it was real or a dream.
The nurse chimed in at this point.
"Yes, you woke up and joined right in on the conversation."
I was both embarrassed to have intruded on someone's conversation, and elated that the mere subject of genealogy could actually bring me back from being unconscious.
So with this thought in mind, to my family and friends, if I ever become unconscious, slip into a coma or suffer from dementia or insanity (which runs in my family), just start talking to me about genealogy.
I will instantly regain consciousness or sanity for at least a few minutes, and you can ask what you need to know before I leave you again.
Brenda Smith can be reached at BrendaKSmith@prodigy.net.
Treasure Coast Genealogical Society volunteers are at the Fort Pierce Main Library on Melody Lane every Tuesday, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. to help with research.