Archive for the Hurley Category

Sometime in late 1994 or 1995, my grandmother, then known as Myrtle Jones, was in a hospice near Princeton, New Jersey, where she was dying of cancer. I was working in the area for a week, teaching Advanced SQL Techniques to the employees of Bristol Meyers, and visited her at the end of each day. I had Family Tree Maker installed on my laptop and for several days I sat at the foot of her bed while she tried to remember the names and other details of various family members, most of whom were long gone. Her mind was amazingly sharp, and, as I entered whatever she came up with into the laptop, she asked questions about how what I was doing on the computer and how it worked. Much of what she came up with was information I used to try to track down parts of her mothers family when I gained access to census data many years later, but I was still in early data gathering mode at the time, not even being careful to note sources.

What struck me the most at the time was a comment she made as I answered her questions about the computer. She stated, “Here I am, 87 years old and on my deathbed, but I’m still learning. Isn’t that something?”