December 28, 2014

The Chosen Ones of Family History

James Luther Smith (seated; left)
Henrietta D. Smith (seated; center)
Mary Virginia "Mollie" Blackman Steele (standing; left)

The following poem was originally written by Della M. Cummings Wright circa 1943.  It was re-told by her granddaughter, Della JoAnn McGinnis Johnson.  Below is my adaptation of The Chosen Ones.

The Chosen Ones

In each family there is one who is called to find the Ancestors.
To make them live again.  To tell of their family story.
To feel that somehow they know and approve.

Researching family history is not a cold gathering of facts.
It is breathing life into all who have gone before.
Those who have gone before cry out to us.  Tell our story.  Remember who we were.
In finding them, we find ourselves.

It goes beyond just documenting facts or endless hours of research.
It goes to awe in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
It goes to thankfulness in how they contributed to what we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses.
It goes to honoring their perseverance to continue on and build a life for their family.
It goes to pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation. 
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us so that we might be born who we are.

That we might remember them.
We are them and they are us.

I have gazed upon the graves of my ancestors.
I have felt the connection between us.
I am telling the story of our family history.
I am one of the chosen ones.
I have answered the call.

It will now be up to the chosen one in the next generation to answer the call.
To step up and continue to tell the history of our family.

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