Monday, January 14, 2013

From Family Then to Family Now


tap dance Ohio 1940s
I have to admit: it’s been hard, lately, preparing daily posts for A Family Tapestry. Not that I have lost my zest for writing or anything. I love spending the time it takes to compose the daily review of the family material I’m researching.

The lack of writing verve has been due to something else, however, and I somehow was reminded that I’m really being unfair—to myself as well as others—by not saying anything and yet insisting on silently churning out daily posts.

I was reminded, today, that I went through much the same scenario last year. On the eve of traveling to visit a cousin in her last days, I found myself creating a week’s worth of blog entries ahead of time, so that I wouldn’t miss a beat. It took me several days after my return home—and only with some firm nudges from unknowing bystanders—before I could even write something about it all.

This year, thankfully, I’m not facing such dire circumstances. But I am facing a trip even longer than last year’s journey. And I will be spending quite a bit of time in a hospital. So I thought I’d learn my lesson from last year, and just be transparent this time.

While I’m away, I’ll select some of the mystery photos from the Bean family collection to share. Though I don’t know all the names to link to those faces, I think you’ll enjoy perusing the memories kept by this family from the turn of the last century. I sure do have a lot more research to complete before I feel confident about passing along the stories this family shared informally with me over the years. But this upcoming week’s posts will be a start at chipping away at this project.

In the meantime, I’ll be turning my attention from Family-History-of-the-Long-Past to Family-History-in-the-Making. Remember my aunt—the one I told you about last September? The one who was thinking about caving to public opinion and “acting her age” by capitulating to socially-mandated behavior for the “elderly”? Well, she reconsidered on her adamant stance to move to a “home” when she found out that she could still stay in her own home, cook her own meals, do her own housekeeping, and even drive to her job (yes, she still has a part time job!) and keep up her daily jogging routine. It was all but for the lack of a good set of arm muscles, we found out, that she had been thinking she’d need to kiss it all goodbye. All she needed was someone to shovel the snow for her each winter!

While family wholeheartedly supported her new decision to stay home, things do happen. In this case, that “thing” happened, oh, just two days before Christmas: in a rush to grab her suitcase and drive off with friends for a Christmas visit, she tripped on the door mat, couldn’t catch her balance and fell.

The bad news is that she broke her neck.

The thankful news is that I’m not talking about ancient family history. Family history-in-the-making in this millennium sure beats the outcome our ancestors of even a couple generations past might have faced. Surgery works miracles. Medical attention reverses dire circumstances, and sets us back on the path to recuperation.

So, I’m thankful that this year’s bedside visit will have a very different outcome than that of the past year.

In the meantime, I’ll share with you some stories and photographs of Sam and Maud Bean’s family.

Yet, by necessity, I’ll have my mind elsewhere in the next few days. I’m sure you’ll understand. After all, the importance instilled in the institution of the family is not just for those who lived in past ages. More than that, it is what we value right here and now.


Above right: For the obligatory dance lessons, my mother and aunt strike just the right recital pose.

18 comments:

  1. Good grief - you scared me. I thought YOU were going into the hospital. Not that I'm glad it's your aunt, you understand, just relieved to know you're OK. Not to worry - we'll still be here. We'll leave the light on for you.

    I wish your aunt a speedy and full recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wendy. We are taking everything one day at a time. You know how it is: sometimes it seems like it is one step forward, then two steps backwards. But overall, we are making progress here.

      Delete
  2. I am hoping your Aunt can strike just the right recital pose once more and soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, that's the spirit! I know my aunt is hoping, if not in tap dance form, to at least be back to everyday normal!

      Delete
  3. Wow! Talk about a rotten turn of luck for your aunt. I hope she's up and at 'em soon.

    I understand about the writing block issues. I tend to experience the same after a big research trip. Perhaps my brain is just too flooded with good stuff that I can't even compose it all? Who knows. The human mind is quite the puzzle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, you remind me of that Gary Larson "Far Side" comic strip where the student raises his hand and asks to be excused from class because "My brain is full!" Sometimes I feel that way, too. But right now, it's not so much a "full" condition as a distracted one. Looking forward to getting back on track, but glad to have the liberty to attend to such needful issues!

      Delete
  4. I have nominated you for Blog of the Year Award.
    http://kathrynsmithlockhard.blogspot.com/2013/01/surprise-i-have-been-honored.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathryn, thank you so much! I'm delighted for the recognition. I appreciate your thinking of me.

      Delete
  5. Jacqi, I've nominated you for the Wonderful Member Readership Award! Thanks for following my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bettyann, thank you so much for your nomination. It's an honor.

      I'm encouraged to see so many of us bloggers coming together in community to support and encourage each other in our work writing and researching our family history.

      Delete
  6. Of course I will enjoy your photos while you are away. I wish your Aunt a speedy and full recovery..it sounds like she was in great shape..so perhaps she will gain all of her mobility back again. How wonderful that you can go and spend time with her:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Far Side. It will be a long road to recovery, but one that is diligently being sought. There's a lot of hard work there...but so worth it!

      Delete
  7. How frightening!Hopefully she will recover soon. I look forward to seeing all the new photos while you are away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Deborah. The recovery is slow but steady. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by, and for your encouragement and comments!

      Delete
  8. How unlucky! And it's Murphy's law that it happened on the way TO the trip. I wish her a speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too funny, Heather. Good ol' Murphy, huh?!

      Delete
  9. My, what a year you've been through. I hope your aunt makes a full recovery. She is so blessed to have you by her side. I'll keep her - and you - in my prayers.

    By the way, I want you to know that I've nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. I know you've received this and many others already, but consider this yet another reminder of how you touch people's lives with your writing. http://manybranchesonetree.blogspot.com/2013/01/thankful-thursday-grateful-and-paying.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, thank you so much for thinking of me. I love the thought behind the "Liebster" name: dearest!

      I certainly have enjoyed your own writing, too, and the wonderful story of your mom and family that you have unfolded over the past year. Looking forward to reading more there!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...