Monday, March 28, 2011

Turn Your Heart…


A beautiful face looking up at me from the table…a face I’ve always loved, but haven’t known as much about as I should….

Mary Jane Robinson West1

I don’t have many photos of my great-great grandmother Mary Jane, but I do have snippets of her writing, letters, and her life story as carefully kept by her daughter—my great-grandmother—Mary.

Mary Jane Robinson West was born in the back of a covered wagon in 1848 as her family made it’s way west…can you imagine?!  What a dramatic beginning to an eventful life!

{image found online}

Glimmers of insight into a beautiful soul taken from a few saved letters to loved ones:


“I am sure, dear John, that we grow through trial’s losses and disappointments…Your children love and pray for you.  Everyone sends blessings, and remember, we do have many.” (Written to her husband, far away on business, on the sudden death of his brother…killed by Indians.)

{image found online}

In a letter to her father:

“I often wonder if you can appreciate each other as much as I, who have been so much away from all of you.  Our family gatherings are so beautiful—such a feeling of true love characterizes everything about them…no one could know the feelings which I experienced that (last night we were together).  They were engraved upon my heart and can never be erased…”


It’s amazing what happens when you turn your heart towards someone you’re connected to…you find and understand things that you never have before…

A sweet poem written by the new bride Mary Jane that I’d never before seen…

{image found online}

My Home
I’d have my home a bright, bright spot
Where the strife of life would be forgot.
Where hearts should grow more strong and fair,
In thoughtfulness for beauty there.

I’d have surroundings pure and bright
Flowers with all their sweet delight
And singing birds and waving trees
No home’s complete without all these.

And in this pleasant house of mine,
Love, hope and peace should ever shine.
Love in the dear hearts sheltered there
Hope and peace in the whole glad air.
                                                     --Nov. 15, 1865

I’m happy to say, from all I’ve heard and seen, she created a home just like the one she dreamed of…


So many things about a life to share…much to much for one post on one day…

A new page for my heritage scrapbook made yesterday…


Just a few elements of a life beautifully lived…wish I knew more, but so grateful for what I do know about Mary Jane…


…one thing I know for certain is that she felt the same way I do about our family…a little line found in a letter to her family towards the end of her life…

“I am anxious that my mother’s posterity may know their…duty.  I want my children and my children’ children to accept this obligation…To search honestly and generously (for their ancestors), that there will truly be not one broken line.”

DSC01916_edited-1 {close-up of copy of above letter, typed in a beautiful vintage-style font…}

I’m trying, Mary Jane…

Turn your heart towards someone you love…you will be amazed at what you will find.



{Beautiful floral images, Crafty Secrets’ new “Love Mail” Creative Scraps; seam binding and homemade rosettes colored with “Cherub Pink” and “Creme de Cocoa” Glimmer Mist; vintage key from Tim Holtz collection; vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, lace, typed sentiments}