I grew up in a time just prior to the Internet explosion.
If you needed to gather information, you relied upon the library, encyclopedias, and microfiche. I was taught the Dewey Decimal System and how to use a card catalog.
Now we just Google our questions. It’s remarkable what you can find on the Internet. The most obscure information is at your fingertips. We can even Google ourselves.
There is nothing that you can’t find if you search for it.
Or so I thought.
The other night, in a moment of sadness, I Googled my father.
I typed his name in and hit enter.
I put his name in quotations and hit enter.
There was no mention of his murder.
There was no record of those he left behind.
There was no mention of his parents’ tears, their baby boy taken from them.
There was no mention of his siblings, devastated by their loss.
There was no mention of his widow, left to raise her two-year old daughter alone.
There was mo mention of me, a fatherless child.
I spent a day when I was a young adult, reading everything I could dig up about him at the local library and newspaper.
He was real and he did exist. The articles told in great detail the story of his murder and the heartbreak of the family left behind in its wake.
I know the story.
Why does it bother me that I can’t Google him? Why do I want so badly to read it all again, whenever I need to remind myself?
Why would it make him seem more real if I could see his name returned by an Internet search?