I can’t believe it’s the last edition of Heritage Questions. It’s been fun visiting about keeping our family histories alive. The major change I’ve noticed is that we’ve gone from thinking about a workshop to understanding that we are really talking about becoming Genealogy Detectives. One of the things I found most surprising is Dee Haviland Fournier’s insistence on proving the “facts” we find and her emphasis on the importance of a Story Journal, because it’s not just about birth and death dates. It’s about real people. So for the last column today, I want to tell you why I think it’s so important that we share and understand our mutual journey.
Thirty three years ago yesterday, my husband died. Thirty-three years is a long time. Our little girl was the same age her Daddy is in this first picture. It became my task to keep our family whole and to keep Daddy’s memory alive so that the kids grew up with the sense of an intact family. Not just the memory, surrounded by halo, but the real person. So stories, of course, but things that were important to him, too.
My husband and I had a poem we shared that we passed back and forth on significant occasions. Many people have a collection of poems that speak to their hearts. But this was special. He gave me the clipping in the hospital after our youngest child was born, and I sent it back to him on the day of his funeral when our son, in white Navy dress uniform read it, and then brought it back to me. I don’t have the poem any more. I lost it when I was mugged in my driveway in Lakewood. (I wonder if that will be in any of the family stories.) but it doesn’t matter. I remember it. It’s translated from the Spanish.
It’s true we grow old, very old
Wrinkled with age
But harder every day I
Will grasp your hand
Because you see
I love you
Today more than yesterday
But much less than tomorrow
We are who we were. Many families have poems and saying that are special, that capture the family spirit. It’s important to find out the date Great Grandma was born. It’s important to know the date their ship arrived at Ellis Island. But it’s more important to know their spirit, what they did and what they said. And that they loved. Real people love, you know.
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday August 16. Most sincere and enthusiastic thanks to Ben Sclair and Suburban Times for allowing us to share these Heritage Questions with you.
Register online at email Dorothy@itsnevertoolate.com
FROM HUDSON’S BAY TO DOWNTON ABBEY AND BEYOND REGISTRATION – Bring info with you on Saturday Morning.
AUGUST 16, 2014 9:00 TO 3:30
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$10 donation covers lunch, handouts, and ice cream social. Send check for Ten Dollars to DuPont Historical Museum, 207 Barksdale Avenue DuPont, WA 98327. Register online: www.itsnevertoolate.com Event info: 253-582-4565.