Sitting at my desk, I opened a Christmas card from someone I have never personally met. Enclosed was a beautiful glittered card and taped inside was a Christmas decoration with even a hook to help place it on my tree. The decoration was the word JOY!
This new friend that I met online, through a recently found family member on ancestry.com, did not know my personal struggle I have been experiencing since the last part of 2018. Daily pain and suffering from a terrible car accident right in front of my home, family, and right before Thanksgiving, left me unable to enjoy life as I knew. JOY was hard to hold on to each day, and I became very depressed.
The story could continue on, but what I really wanted to express was that through constant love from family and friends, I began to laugh again. Realizing JOY was still somewhere, I began the quest to find her not only inside me, but out in the world. This sweet gift in my Christmas card offered me so much JOY that I could hold her in my hand and feel her warm my heart.
Young Old Happy Tired Skinny Thin,
my best friend, he loves me till the end.
From blind date,
till it is getting late.
Under the covers, two lovers, kissing. The moon hovers.
I love you, from missing the young happy skinny and way back then.
To old tired and thin, I’ll love you till then.
These are stories that my husband’s dad, mom, uncle,and grandpa recorded as they must have sat at a kitchen table somewhere in Kentucky. Thank you for family that takes the time traveling, searching for people, cemeteries, maps, books, money, patience, and hard work to preserve and record the life of our ancestors. Do not let their memories fade. Pass their stories along.
Thank you to Virginia (Jenny Rose) who sat with them and told her memories. She had such a love for a grandmother she only knew for 7 years. Brings tears down my cheeks to think of what a short but precious time they had together.
After my mother-in-law passed away, these typed pages were with some books. I thought they might be enjoyable to learn how people gather from the land for food and medicine and how they lived.
I am sharing them a bit at a time because just this short amount tells so much and made me ponder the sweetness of their relationship.
My grandmother, Martha Ann, probably wasn’t 5 feet tall, and married my grandfather who was approximately about 6′ and 4 inches tall. Whereby, I thought they looked like Mutt and Jeff together. (Mutt and Jeff was a long-running 1907-1983 and widely popular American newspaper comic strip).
She died when I was about 7 years old, but her death brings tears to my eye even to this day. She was an “Irish Example” of how they were taught to work hard and smile as if you were rich. Even on her dying bed she asked someone to get crackers for her grandchildren to eat.
I still can see her carrying a sack of greens to cook, and on our farm, going to the wood and gathering greens, tree roots, bark, mayapple and yellow roots for food, for medicine. Grandfather depended on her always to make the living, which she did by cleaning, baby sitting, making quilts, gardening for the more “elites” until a few weeks before her death. She had a daughter named Frona, who was almost deaf, but she taught her how to survive in this world.
Grandmother always gave me a flower to take home when the flowers were blooming and taught me how to peel and dice fruits.
She gave me a “thimble” (maybe not thimbles as we know them today). She was making a comforter, therefore, all the grandchildren wishing to, could sit in on it with their thimbles. She helped them thread the needles and taught them how to insert the needle and thread and how to tie the knots. I doubt if I put the thread where she wanted them, but she was happy because it was difficult for her to accomplish. She had to do housekeeping work for people to support the family since my grandfather seldom work. (arthritis)
I only knew one grandmother and this is the only one I personally saw and knew. It is nice to have a memory of my grandmother that I cherish and could relate to. When Dr. Dollen told me that my Grandmother Martha Ann prepared medication for him for some of his patients that were sick. She gathered bark, roots, and herbs. She also cleaned his house and office and he gave her his shirts and this is how grandmother had the material to make quilts. She also made him a quilt.
When I stand near her grave, I see a great lady that never got a “Neon Light” on earth, but to me she is glowing. Every memorial day I put some flowers on her grave because she gave me a thimble, fruits, flowers and taught me how to tie knots when I was young. And she put her arms around me to comfort me once.
By Virginia a.k.a. Jenny Rose
The rainbow hovered low over their home. Large clouds had been pushing it down from the sky for miles. Drying her hands on her long skirt, she stepped on to the warm terra cotta tiles.
She tried to follow the colors through the backyard. Past birds, benches, flowers and pots, blooms on their vines that covered the fence. She pushed gently through the gate. Greens, purples, yellow, orange, and reds splayed up the barn. Curving hard straight up to the clouds.
She walked out in the field, wildflowers reaching and brushing her thighs. Running her palm across their warm tops, she raised her hand to shield her eye.
The sun shone down in several golden rays. She traveled on to the hill before town, and this is where she looked down. Her feet were bare in such a hurry to see the fine displays.
This is where they would walk, hand in hand, each morning, each night. To stand on worn tall grass, to hear childrens’ laughter. They might talk while they watched them play. Their smiles needed, no cares at all.
Then she felt his warm hand on her shoulder. She asked how he knew where she went? He said he needed to hold her. He looked through the clouds. He thought he saw rainbows and on the hill he saw her stand.
They walked home. The clouds and the rainbows had melt on the stone. The stars dwelt high in the sky. They sat on the lawn and watched them twinkle and mingle.
Dawn came upon the garden with a pardon of dew. When they looked on this day, old clouds had gone. New clouds took them away.
Just when you think the tears are dried, a song, or a gentle smile, brings back a sweet memory.
We miss a strong woman who fought skin cancer so hard to be able to enjoy life with her family. She was a wife, mom,sister,sister-in-law,mom-in-law,daughter,aunt, and friend who laughed, played, loved life, family, and friends to the fullest. She loved the Lord, personal prayer time, and daily reading her bible. We will all miss hearing her voice on the phone. Her cute ways of talking and her beautiful smile. Her laughter fill the air.
Joy fills our hearts knowing she was taken to heaven. She walks with family and feels no pain.
We miss you.
We love you so.
At a delicate half a year of my life, I found strength in my daily prayers and bible verses. I also found sleeping was not going to happen easily for me, so many prayers were said through the night.
Just when I needed encouragement and love, someone would reach out to me. This bible verse was from my dad. I woke up one morning and it truly helped me through a very difficult day.
I am “Confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
We are praying for you honey. Love Dad.
What you see,
What you hear,
What you remember is so clear.
Losing yourself in thoughts,
Escaping the realities of today,
Imagination takes you up and away .
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She calls out your name when you walk through the door. She runs to you and throws her arms around your neck and kisses you all over the face.
She looks you in the eyes and tells you she loves you. She makes you feel welcome, secure that you have a special place in her heart.
She loves parties with gifts, decorations,and cakes.
But not parties for her, but for Y O U.
She cries big fat tears when you are sick, worried and stressed, sending up her own little prayers.
She has no paper money to buy you gifts, but she uses her colored paper to draw you and her smiling and holding hands. This is her gift to you.
Start at the beginning because all of that love is true, genuine, and from a five year old girl.
Little one’s give straight from the heart.
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