“Love and comfort to you and your family as the last member of this generation passes.” – Alice Kay Lovelace noting the passing of my last great-great uncle.
When I was born in 1964, I was blessed with many generations in my family.
My parents were young; Mother was 19 and my father, 22.
Mothers parents were 40 and 42, so I was also blessed with very young grandparents.
My uncles were 10, 12, and 20 years old.
My great-grandparents were in their 60s and several of their parents, still living, were in their 80s and 90s.
I had 18 great uncles and aunts (siblings of my grandparents) born in the 1920s-1930s, 23 great-great uncles and aunts (siblings of my great-grandparents) born between 1890s-1913, and approximately 88 great-great-great uncles and aunts (siblings of my great-great grandparents) born between 1870s-1900.
I knew family members who’d fought in The Spanish American War and WWI, who’d experienced The Great Depression as both adults and children and who had lived when the world knew
- Civil War reconstruction
- Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, Harrison, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson
- Queen Victoria
- only 37 states in The Union
- state territories
- US battles and mistreatment of Native Americans
- the telegraph
- the Titanic’s sinking
- traveling only by buggy, horseback, boat/ship, trains
- no electric lighting, only candle, kerosene, or gas lighting
- so many other comforts and technologies we know today
My family served as my first history teachers.
I lived by their stories of youth and family, and of their experiences, and carry them with me, today. I found it fascinating they were living in times of so many historical heroes and knew first hand many of the things I’d read in history books. I’ve tried to record their stories, their mental albums, their life lessons, and their experiences from times ebbing further and further away.
As of today, I have no living grandparents, and only two of their siblings survive; one great-aunt passed away last December. My last great-great uncle, a brother of a great-grandmother passed away.
It’s definitely sad to see the rapid dwindling of the generations but I could not be more grateful for having known all those family members, some, even if only for a brief moment my early years.
I was blessed by their history.
I was blessed by their stories.
I was blessed by their love.
I was blessed by them.
Godspeed, Uncle Dick (Richard Daughtery), and enjoy your time singing with Grandma Thelma, and the other angels.