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Baby Boomer siblings Alan Spector, Carol Spector Strelic, and Marti Spector Ferdman searched their folders, files, photos, crates, bins, and memories to capture what they know of their family history. Not having fully appreciated the tales they were told in their youth and not having asked the questions or documented the answers of their ancestors while they were still living, Alan, Carol, and Marti vowed to make sure their children, grandchildren, and future generations have a family record to build on.
The book is dedicated to their mother, Jeanette Friedman Spector, and their father, Herman Gustave Spector, and it delves deeply into both their maternal and paternal heritage. Although it includes several charts showing the lines and boxes of the family tree, The Spector-Friedman Family is more about telling the stories that have deepened the roots and strengthened the branches.
If you are a family member, the book will be personally meaningful to you. If you are not, the book serves as a guide on how to capture your family history for your children, grandchildren, and future generations.
For Alan, Carol, and Marti, the book served to bring their extended family even closer together, as they reconnected with relatives not seen in decades, learned of and met relatives they did not even know existed, and solidified the meaningful stories of how they became who they are today.
The African proverb states, “When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” A complementary precept is, “When the branches are strong, there is no reason to fear climbing higher.”
Trees are the ideal metaphor for the growth and development of individuals and families across generations. Sturdy trees have deep roots and strong branches, and when exposed to threatening winds, trees grow stress wood, making them even more resilient.
Previous generations have nurtured our life’s tree, and we then assume stewardship and the responsibility to tend the tree for future generations—further deepening roots and strengthening branches. We can best do this if we develop a sense of self, mindfully answering three questions: 1) Who am I? 2) How did I become this person? 3) How will I affect future generations?
In Deep Roots; Strong Branches, Alan Spector reflects on his answers to these questions and prompts the reader to do the same. He uses his life’s stories and lessons learned, combines them with the stories and lessons of many others, and invites stories and learning from the reader. Hence the subtitle, Reflecting on Life Lessons Learned; A Mindful Multi-Memoir.