I visited a neighbor last night. She is 92 and bedridden. She has her TV at the foot of her bed, books along the side of her bed, videos and DVD’s for watching. Her mind is sharp but her body is frail, even at 92 and bedridden yet she still has a sense of purpose. I attribute that to the stories she could tell. She told me one very short story. As she spoke I could see in her eyes how valuable the memory was and the retelling of the story meant just as much to her as the actual experience. It was in the retelling that the event regained life. She said that when she was about 6 years old her mother would take out her guitar and play a Spanish fandango. I could tell as she spoke that she loved the fandango. I was enthralled at watching the excitement that glowed from her face as she recalled this story. It was short and only took a moment to share but she came alive in the retelling. It’s as if she could hear her mother playing the fandango as she related the memory. Later I wondered about the memories I have and memories I am creating for my children. I began to appreciate more and more the great blessings I have received by learning about my ancestors.
Not necessarily those who sailed the ocean, or even before, the ones in castles, or dugouts but the ancestors who traveled to a new land, some turned the soil and lived by the land, some became educators, others statesman, lawyers, merchants, salesmen, oilmen. Some had vision and planned for the future, but the ones in the new land who set the stage and prepared the framework for you and me to live. I appreciate more and more who I am today because of who came before me and the people they were. I am just now beginning to understand the challenges they faced. It’s a gift from them to us, the carpenters, salesman, inventors, farmers, statesmen, men in the government, soldiers, and of course fathers and mothers. Each contributed something to their generation that added to my potential and accomplishments.
This blog is more reflective that instructive. I consider the stories I have been given a great gift. To show appreciation for my ancestors I can live to be the best that I can be and perform each act with honor. In living this way I show respect to my predecessors. In writing this blog I wonder what more I could do to appreciate the gifts given to me by my ancestors and invite any who reads this to ponder the same question.