Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The value of a Mother

Della Bernice Philpott McLaughlin

Have you ever just sat back and thought about how much you really know about your parents or grandparents as just people?  Someone that you spent a lifetime with, but really didn't get to know very well when they were alive?
Well, that has happened to me, and even though I have been interested in Family History for many years I just didn't see the value of who my parents really were until they were gone and I had to go thru their "stuff" to see what I could find of interest to keep my memories of them alive as well as pass on to my children and grandchildren.
I guess I was just too busy trying to find out who my dead relatives were.
Since Mother's Day is Sunday, I am going to reflect on what I have learned about my mother since she has been gone.
I have so many many questions to ask her. So many experiences she had that I wish I could have known more about.
My mother was born in her home in Provo Utah in 1919. For some reason she never was registered in the court house so she never had a birth certificate. I remember her being upset about that from time to time, but never realized why or bothered to ask her why. Now after many years of reading journals, viewing pictures, looking at documents and putting them all together I realize how important it was to her that she had physical, & visual proof that she really did exist. That she really was who she was told she was without any physical proof.
I remember her tears when she finally received a copy of her baptismal record to hold and treasure that at least she had something that she knew was hers that she could prove she existed from that point on. I wish now I could have ask her to talk to me about how she felt.
I remember the day I was going thru some of her things and found a Harmonica. A Harmonica, oh yes, I remember that. I vaguely remember her trying to play it one day when I was quite young. Oh how I wished I had asked her all about it. That I could have had a recording of what she tried to played that day. She barely had enough wind capacity to blow into it and make the music come out, but she did it anyway. (My mother suffered from lung problems she encountered from walking pneumonia, during her child bearing years.)
Years later as I have talked to different members of the family, they told me how much she loved to play the harmonica. How she spent years playing it for her friends and family.
She learned it from a couple of her great uncles that used to play them when they would get together and have church dances. Why didn't I ask her where she got it? Who actually taught her how to play it, and why didn't I insist on having her tell all her stories about it?

Will my children do the same thing with me after I'm gone?  Let me go ask them?

1 comment:

  1. Aunt Sue- Thank you for sharing! What a beautiful picture of Grandma! I know the feeling of wishing you had asked your mom more about her life and her stories. We talked about recording Mom's stories but never did- how sad for us. It's so fun to get to know your family members- the ones close and the ones far removed! I've been getting on New Family Search with one of my daughters and we really enjoy it. I'm hoping to get my girls interested in working on genealogy as a Young Women's Project. I saw your organization system. Is that good for beginner's or more for people who are further along? At this point I don't have any files or documents- I'm just trying to get acquainted with the basics. I hope things are well with you and your family. Love- Audrey