I love to blog and tell the tale of my people… lol . I mean, the stories I remember first hand. I also do a ton of genealogy and blog as I put puzzle pieces together. Those are my stories. I try to make sure to chronicle them for the next generation who might be curious. I wish I had been better at chronicling the stories before so many important people in my life had passed away.
I am in this picture. I am the toddler with the yellow shirt, big white collar and red bowtie. The shoes on my feet…they are currently sitting on a shelf in my office. I have a pair of shoes for both parents at the same age, me and the kids. Weird the things I hoard. Well, actually, I hoard everything both weird and normal.
Ma is standing behind the couch in that amazing black and white print blouse, rocking the frosted hair that she loved. To the far left in are my Mawmaw (Pauline) and my Great Grandmother, Cinda Moneyhun.
I have researched the heck outa GGma. I have a partial birth certificate request (above) that is not certified so it is unclear if the information is entirely accurate. Her obituary names her as Margaret Lydia.
Mawmaw’s birth certificate (I was able to secure a copy while in Richmond VA earlier this year) names her as Lucinda Moneyhun.
The reason I was riffling through my documents and pictures was because of a question posed on Twitter today. Someone asked how old and who was the oldest person we had been in physical contact with (the person born the longest ago). I had thought it to be my Great Grandma Arizona Mae Rice (1888-1977). I have clear memories of Arizona attacking a principal who showed up on her doorstep to talk to my Ma about me. She waved her cane at him and told him to leave her baby alone. That was about the time Ms. Johnson was beating me daily at school. All of those memories are tied together in a beautiful picture I love to remember.
I was wrong in that assumption though. It was Cinda. She was born in 1885 and lived until 1971. I do not have any recollections of her as I was only two and a half when she passed away. But this photo shows that we “knew” each other before memories served me properly.
The thing is, I never once talked to Mawmaw about her Mother or about where and how she grew up. I cannot recall having an in depth conversation with her at all, really. It is not as if I did not “know” my Mawmaw, she was a part of my life all the way up until Alex was born. She was MY history yet I did not know HER history. That makes me sad on a continual basis. Especially now that I am into my genealogy.
If I have but one bit of advice for anyone reading this: if you have older loved ones, write down their stories. Or, better yet, video and record them telling their stories or their family traditions. Go through all of the photo albums and make sure the names of the people in the photos are on the backs so you can reference it later. Scan them for safekeeping. Because, let me tell you, you will miss those resources when they are gone. Truly.
That photo leapfrogs to the future and shows the next “four generation” set: Me, Alex, Mawmaw and Ma. God knows I tell every tale I can, they will not be left with any grey areas if I have a say so.
I miss them. Miss them a lot.
I wish I wrote down more of their stories.
Don’t make the same mistake. Do it now.