Monday, May 20, 2013
Looking back with appreciation…
Sometimes I think hindsight holds the greatest revelation. In looking back over our family ancestors I have discovered so much richness, so much insight and so much more appreciation for our families; and especially for some individual people. Their determination and tenacity alone owes them much admiration and respect.
My mother-in-law’s family; she as the baby
First, both sides of our families had a large amount of siblings. My husband’s side was particularly prolific. My husband’s paternal grandmother, Grace, came from a modest family of eight children and at age 14 was already working as a nanny/housemaid. By age 21 she was working with another family and by age 24 she was the housekeeper at St. Francis Xavier parish rectory in northeastern Ohio, where she met her husband to be, my husband’s grandfather William– the family parish still to this day that holds several stained glass windows named for the family. My husband’s family helped founded and build the original parish. German immigrants. Not so strangely as we’ve learned, Germans that lived in the lower southwestern part of France. William’s siblings of seven sons and three daughters resided near and around the farmlands of the family parish. The original patriarchal family that immigrated in 1828 to Carroll County Ohio – Franz Joseph and Anna Maria are buried in an even older parish St Mary’s of Morges in the area.
Grace at age 21
Having come myself from a military family that moved nearly every year throughout my younger years, I can SO appreciate stability and staying in one place…really planting one’s roots and blooming where you are planted. My husband and I met at church, we were wed at the same church, and all four of our children were baptized there and have made other sacraments there as well. We have a history of 24 married years there and 26 as singles. I never imagined my life as a Catholic wife and mother would be so….simple and ordinary. The more my older children attend college, the more I see the value in a simple life. The more I hear the horror stories out there about the corruptions and evils going on, the more I appreciate a smaller town and not having to keep up with the Joneses.
So, as I pour over our ancestry, mostly staunch German on both sides back up through the 1600s now, I am very grateful for the rich family God has blessed us with – not in monetary terms – but in relational good examples, strong determined faith-filled people that passed that precious heritage down to their descendants each generation. I am proud to be a part of that family and I know they await us in heaven and are cheering us on while still fulfilling our lives on earth.
My husband’s grandfather’s family