Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Dearest Daughter

In 1958 my mother got married and moved across the country. These are the letters written to her, mainly by her mother, between 1958 and 1960. Others in the series are in my del.icio.us file.

My Grandma's letter to Mom stopped during December and January 1958. I'm not sure if she didn't write or if these were just lost. Grandma did make a trip to visit my mom in Christmas of that year, so there wouldn't be any letters while they were together. I am going to wait until next month to start posting those again.

Mr. Pete was getting ready to teach his PSR class by reading my mom's old family bible, when this fell out of it:
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I thought it was a nice tie in to the letters my grandma had written and a little touch from my mom that she was on her way back for that visit they were all looking forward to so much! Apparently my grandmother saved it in this bible and then my mom kept it for all of these years.

Since mom's death I have been overcome with a sense of history, or rather the loss of my own family's history. I heard on the radio a few days ago how precious or family history is and how quickly it can disappear. The commentator said most people can name their grandparents, and even their great-grandparents, but few can go back farther than that! It' so true. And even if we can know their names and occupations, what can we really know of them and their thoughts and feelings?

My sister gave my mom a copy of The Story of a Lifetime: A Keepsake of Personal Memoirs for Christmas a few years back, but mom only filled out one page of it. Oh the opportunity that we missed there!

But I hope not to lose all of the family lore if I can possibly prevent it. I have a wonderful Aunt Dorothy (Rosie's middle name is for her!) who is in her late 80s but is very spry and in better shape than a lot of ladies 20 to 30 years younger! So I bought her a copy of To Our Children's Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come. I'm going to send it to her this week and hopefully she'll have lots to say and to preserve for us. I think she will. Her letters are always so newsy and she still has wonderful handwriting.

But to that end I am more determined now than ever to try to preserve that respect for the story of our family in the minds of my own children. It does no one any good to just have memories shared and written down or recorded if no one gives a damn about them. But I think my kids will care because I have been blessed to have these family photos and I can talk to them about who these people were and what they did and how I remember them from my childhood. And ore importantly, I take them to family reunions and events so that family history becomes part of THEIR memory and hopefully then something that they will think of fondly and want to hang on to.

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