I found this picture of my great-grandfather Richard Allen Spencer and his second wife Corrillie Percival Spencer a few years ago. It is one of my favorite family photos! Why? Because they look happy, content and in love. I don’t remember Allie, as he was called. He passed away on July 6, 1973 when I was very young; but I love his spirit conveyed here.
Allie was a preacher like his father before him, but he also farmed all his life. Allie’s father had a very difficult early life; one that at times I struggle with emotions the more I uncover. Allie’s grandfather Elias Spencer’s life is a conundrum. He is the brick wall in my tree I am committed to breaking down in 2017. I look forward to sharing my journey and those of Elias, his son William and grandson Allie.
This picture hangs in my office where I can look up from my desk and see it everyday. It is comforting to know that a couple at such peace are looking over me. With all the difficulties in our modern lives it is challenging to stay positive about the future. I find it helpful to look at the past. While our ancestors’ lives may have been lived more simply than ours, their level of hardship, hard work and enduring spirit inspire me to stop, take a breath, appreciate all we have, love those around us and share great stories.