Sorting through my Mother's things this week has been quite a learning experience for me. I have learned many things about my family that I never knew before. Nothing secret, mind you, just facts that were not passed on to me. But now I know, and I have laughed, cried, and been excited that I have found these things of family history past.
My intention this morning was to go through all of those boxes of pictures that Mom had kept. My sister took half of them and I know it will take us forever to complete this task. Going througth the pictures taught me a good lesson. Never, never take pictures that you don't identify. People are easy, if you know them, and a lot of them were unknown to me. Oh, I did know they were relatives, but who and what side of the family??? The real kicker was the hundreds of pictures of scenery in every state my parents had visited. We have no idea where they are and they mean nothing to us without a person in them or some sort of identification. They were precious to Mom though as she could look at them and remember.
I divided pictures into 5 folders for myself and my siblings and divided them according to family or just makeing piles at random so I wouldn't show favoritism.
Dividing pictures that way was easy, but wait....What are all of these letters?
And what is in this shoe box of old papers.
I have found a treasure. I spent a lot of time reading and crying and getting to know a grandfather that I never got to know. He was very ill as he wrote the letters to his sons who were overseas during WWII. He told of his health issues and the conditions on the farm. He advised them of what kind of men to be: Be kind, always pay attention to the other fellow, treat people fairly, Look to God in heaven to give you strength and help your through the trying times. spend time in prayer each day. Grandad, who was my mothers father, passed away 5 months before I was born. I always knew that he was a gentle man because of the family that he had. I am glad that I was able to read those letters written in pencil on a tablet. Every inch of the page was used. There were also letters from my grandmother and letters from the uncles who were serving our Country. Grandad told them to be proud of what they were doing.
In another box were treasures from my other side of the family.My great grandad R. was a school teacher. In this box were copies of all his teaching certificates, dating back to 1882. There were also many letters of recommendation from people that he taught and the parents of the children that he had taught. The script of the peoples writing was so beautful. They took great pride in neatness and the beauty. No typewritten words or computers for them. It was all long hand and perfect.
I found many poems that had been written by family members. My family had quite a talent for writing. I found all about my paternal grandmothers school days in Indian Territory at the Coulter School near Gutherie. Pictures of early day I.T. and a great parade celebrating 50 Year since the Land Run of 1889.
I can't wait to get into the other boxes tomorrow. I have a lot of copies to make for all of my siblings. There are so many pictures that now have meaning and I think they all need copies of these family documents, don't you?
The next job will be starting on my own treasures. I am not sure that my kids will take too kindly to some of the things that I have kept. One thing for sure, I don't have any of my early childhood things. My family moved and pitched what we didn't need. Thank goodness they kept the history.