Where do you come from?

I was trying to condense and declutter some things still in boxes from our most recent move this weekend, and happened upon all of the genealogy things I have collected thus far. I really need to set up a working filing system for all of this. But that is another post all together.

It made me wonder…do you know where you come from? Who are the people who you are most like from your family? How did their ideals, beliefs and character shape who you are today?

My family history is a bit murky on my father’s side. My dad’s father, Gordon, was from all accounts and extraordinary average man. His father, Arthur worked at Philip’s Chemical Company in Stamford, CT at the the turn of the century. This is the same company that created Philip’s Milk of Magnesia. My great grandfather was a man who shoveled coal into a boiler to run the furnaces. He was nearly 55 when there was some sort of explosion. It caused this hard working man to go blind. His wife Clara, was already out of the picture by this time (death?). My grandfather, Gordon, at the ripe old age of 11, went to work for a local trucking company called Woundy’s. He started out pushing a broom to support his father. He became a great mechanic. He married my grandmother, Jessie, and they had six children.

While raising his own family, my grandfather never let his own father down. Arthur lived with them until his death in 1940. He never once thought of putting his father in a home. I wish I knew him better than I did. From what I remember, he was rather quiet and kept to himself. I was 9 when he passed away in 1975….I remember that trip to CT from NH very well. He had come home from the hospital after having both legs amputated due to complications from diabetes. This man who worked since he was 11, now couldn’t walk. My grandmother had called saying that he was giving up, and his legs were infected, and summoned all the children to try and convince him to go back to the hospital. He would have none of it. He had his pride. I remember being in my grandparent’s livingroom, listening to the grownups in the back bedroom trying to talk some sense into him. It didn’t work. I don’t remember how many days it was before he passed away. I wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral. I wish I knew this man better…but in some ways I think I do. Through my own father. He is very much like him. Stern but loving. Looks like him more and more as well, the older he gets.

I also think it is rather ironic, my father was always at odds with my grandfather as a teen and young man. My grandfather didn’t let him slide on anything. And yet, this troublesome boy who got kicked out of school for the last time at 17, ended up making his father very proud, even if he wasn’t alive to see it. He himself has faced many challenges in his life, raising 3 children and being married to an amazing woman. Yet he never gives up, and family is always more important than anything. Just as it was for my grandfather.

Look into your own family history…where do you come from?

Be blessed!

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