Friday, October 12, 2012

Family History

Not really, I did post her small personal history on 
GatheringGardiners.  I think she did the two pager as a teenager.  It 
is interesting that we have so little.  I have the two page history 
just referred to and a post card she sent to me while at scout camp.  
That is pretty much it.  There are some references to Elaine in 
remembrances of Elaine by JHG.  I have memories but stories not 
really.  It is interesting that we have so little.  It is certainly 
not enough to inspire the next generation.

In that same vein I read everything Dad ever wrote, at least what was 
in the box, and I could not find his testimony.  It is amazing how 
little people leave behind.  When someone like Clarence writes 
histories of Margaret and Robert it is huge.  When someone like 
Suzanne or Jim Brown or Emma leave large histories it is life 
changing.  Most people don't write.  Dad had a friend names Leo.  JHG 
loved leo, and told me so.  He said Leo was the most honest person he 
ever met.  He is in our stake and occasionally I speak with him.

About a year ago I told Leo about what I was doing with dad's writings 
and that he should write his histories in stories.  Meaningful events 
in his life.  Pres Faust called them defining moments in ones life.  
Anyway a couple of weeks ago we bump into Leo at the temple; he 
reaches into his temple bag and thrusts an envelope into my hands.  
"Here it is." he says.  "Here is the my personal history, done the way 
you suggested."  I took it home and didn't really think about it but 
on Sunday I was bored, pulled it out and began to read.  I laughed I 
cried, I was deeply touched.  It is a totally amazing, wonderful 
piece.  Some of the things that happened to him are unbelievable.  War 
stories. Saying goodbye to his dog etc  I've asked permission and am 
working on getting a copy to you and to my family.  It will inspire 
you, it has inspired me.  That's the long answer.

The short answer is:  Elaine was wonderful in hundreds of ways which 
no one will ever know about because she didn't write.  Sad. When I got 
home from your house I felt good because you and I captured some great 
family history in our interviews.  They are priceless.  We need to 
write in such a way the next generation is inspired.    Kent