Last week the call came that I had been expecting for some time; my oldest living relative Bailey had passed away. He would have been 95 on his next birthday. He was my grandmother Grace Valentine Kembel Spencer’s first cousin. Bailey’s Mom Nancy [“Nannie”] was Grace’s father Robert’s sister.
This morning I read an email from a fellow genealogist Thomas MacEntee. He said “Don’t give up on 2020” and explained how even in these uncertain times we should stay positive. I couldn’t agree more! While the world seems so negative around us, we need to find and share hope and positivity that does exist and to remember not to allow politics and division to define us as Americans.
I awoke this morning with the thought that genealogy is a gift. The trials and perseverance of our ancestors can inform, entertain, sadden, bring joy, and perhaps engender resilience in us. How? Knowing those that walked before us survived pestilence and war during their lifetimes can open our eyes to the simple fact: humans can endure a great deal and may even thrive in times of chaos.
July 6th is the 111th anniversary of the birth of Roma Clara Josephine Rasa, my maternal grandmother. She was born in Florence, Missouri to Fred H. and Lena (Tieman) Rasa. At her birth her family lived on the main street of the Florence community not far from the crossroads were two stores and the town bank would stand. She would spend her entire life in that community becoming mother, grandmother, neighbor, friend, confidant, Quilting Grannie, local historian and remarkable cook.
While we often think of history as the big picture what brings it home to us is every day life of everyday people. When looking back through our things its notable what isn’t there: photos of our favorite things and of our daily life. So today, try to answer the list of questions below, or make your own questions that remind you of funny stories with the people and animals in the places we love. Take pictures. Yep. Its a feel-good exercise!