Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Keeper of My Story

Tell Your Story...Anna

Once in a while, something comes across your path that describes you perfectly…better than you ever could yourself…

I found that very thing just yesterday on a lovely, like-minded friend’s blog…she graciously said I could share it here….

Gifts of the Heart--Velda

The Chosen

“We are the chosen.  In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors.  To put flesh on their bones and make them live again. To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. 

“Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.  We are the story tellers of our tribe.  All tribes have one. 

Farm Boy--Rudger

“We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story.  So, we do.  In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. 

Clasped Hands engraving--Susanna B. Vance grave {close-up of my 3rd great-grandmother, Susannah Benson Vance’s grave—I LOVE the clasped hands…the same image is engraved on her husband’s gravestone just next door…}

“How many graves have I stood before and cried?  I have lost count.  How many times have I told my ancestors, “You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us”.

Louisa Barnes Pratt grave with my feet, 2011{my poor, un-pedicured feet during a very emotional first visit to my 4th great-grandmother’s grave this summer—one of my guardian angels, I just know she is…} 

“How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say. It goes beyond documenting facts.

Chelsea by Pauline's grave, 2001 {my oldest daughter Chelsea—years ago—by the grave of my great-grandmother Pauline’s grave…I started teaching them very young…}

“It goes to who I am, and why I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying – I can’t let this happen!  The bones are bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh. 

Sarah & Annie's hands on Susan Robinson's grave. {the sweet little hands of two of my daughters letting their 4th great-grandmother know they love her….}

“It goes to doing something about it.  It goes to our pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.  How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. 

My Fathers--3 Generations

“It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a nation.  It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.

Brita Stina Anstrom Ostlund

“It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth, without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach.  That we might be born who we are. 

My Mothers--5 Generations

“So, as a scribe called,  I tell the story of my family.  It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.

Bobby Pin Girl

“That is why I do family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore memory or greet those who we had never known before…”

And so it is that I do what I do.  I felt this stirring—this call--in my blood when I was just 12 years old.  I remember it very well…

Stack of Heritage Pages, 2012

The heritage pages I’ve been making and sharing with you are more than scrapbook pages…they are stories.  Picture stories that will be bound together along with their written stories in many books to tell my story…

…the story I’ve been chosen to keep.

Stack of Heritage Pages 2, 2012 {most of the background prints & paper emphera on my pages are courtesy of Crafty Secrets}

 

I’m looking forward to sharing my books with you when I’m done…although I don’t think I’ll ever be done…the story goes on…

I’ve been quietly training three more Keepers of the Story for years now…

My Three Girls, Dec. 2011

…I think our family story is in very good hands…

Every family has it’s own unique story…how will you tell yours?

Julie

A Woman of Conviction--Vie Campbell

{“The Chosen” by Della M. Cummings Wright; rewritten by her granddaughter Dell Jo Ann McGinnis Johnson; edited and reworded by Ton Dunn, 1943, and, thankfully,  shared by Sandy of 521 Lake Street}