Ancestrial Chain

There's a song in Moana that always makes me cry. I mean, lets be honest, I often cry through much of the movie; but in particular...

There is an ongoing theme throughout the movie, a connection to the long line of people who came before us, an ancestral chain. Its a theme that means a lot to me, which runs through me and influences my interests.

Throughout my childhood and until his death when I was in high school, my grandfather sent out many stories to his family. Retelling of pieces of his life, normal things that painted the most beautiful pictures of where we came from.

"I was born in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania called Forty Fort. There is a long story about how the town got its name but that is history.

My father and mother were both immigrants. Mom was from Canada and Pop from Wales. Pop only went to the third grade in school but he could read well, write, and could do math well enough that later in his life he became a tool and dye maker for IBM. He left school as many boys from Wales did, to work in the coal mines. At age nine he was working twelve hour days and worked his way up to become a mule driver and when electricity came to the mine he was the driver of an electric train hauling coal from the mines to the breaker. Using this experience, he was able to get a job as driver on the local trolley car system.

Mom was never employed but stayed home and took care of the kids as most women did in those days. She did however, ingrain in our heads that education was the most important thing for us to think about and made us read a lot. She only went to eighth grade in school but at age sixty-five got her high school diploma." 

I find myself rereading these bits and pieces often, these parts of my own story. My family's history.

"By Christmas time I was doing well and then I realized I was totally in love with this girl and asked her if she would go to dinner with me. She said she was going to visit her aunt and uncle for Christmas in Los Angeles and I was really devastated. Then she said, “Would like to go with me?” My life began and I would never be the same.

Her name was EDDIE. Her real name was Ednagene C[*****]. We became friends that week and had a lot of things to talk about. Her life in China, her college days, her nursing career, her sixteen cousins, and mother and father. That part frightened me because her father was a Ph.D. and dean of students at Lehigh University.

When we returned to the hospital we went out every night, sometimes off the base and sometimes we just walked and made stops at the slop-shut (a navy word for a place to sit and have a beer). After two weeks we were totally in love and I asked her to marry me."

Its amazing to get these glimpses into another time and place, to see what pieces make up my foundation, to see where I came from.

Let's not forget the other side of my family. While I don't have the amazing written stories for my Paternal family, there's much fun in knowing that my Great Gram was born in Glamorgan, Wales... just like Tom Jones! Ha! 😊

I believe that the line of family that came before us is so important to where we are and where we are going. I look forward to learning and sharing more!

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~ Meegs