Especially today, when many families are fragmented, there is a need to write down our recollections, memoirs, family stories...to leave a living legacy for our current, and especially, our future descendants.
I have just returned from a trip to the Rocky Mountains. I hadn't spent any time in the Rockies since I was a teenager, many years ago.
Originally, my intent was to visit my mother's side of my extended family in Eastern Colorado and Kansas; however, my wife, who has cancer, simply wanted to relax and be with our daughter and her two youngest children. So I revised my personal plans to spend our time with our own family.
Fortunately, I was able to locate where my parents met. Many years ago, my parents told me that they met in Grand Juction, Colorado. My dad was a civil engineer working on the railroad and my mother was a waitress at a nearby cafe.
Grand Junction was one of our overnight stops. When we arrived, the hotel attendant asked what we were doing in Grand Junction. I mentioned that this is where my parents met. I then asked if there was a ralroad in town. "Yes," she replied. I then asked if there was a cafe near the railroad and she said there was a cafe, Starvin' Arvins, that had been there for nearly a hundred years.
"YES!" I now knew where my parents met. After unpacking for the evening, we immediately went down to the cafe...hoping to have dinner there. To my disappointment, the cafe closes at 2:00 pm. The next morning, after we had a free breakfast at the hotel, we went back to Starvin' Arvin, to have a snack, but it was quite busy. I went inside just to see what it was like and then we proceeded to our destination that day. I was quite satisfied that I saw where my parents met, yet I was left with many unanswered questions among which included the following:
How and why did my mother move from Boulder to Grand Junction, Colorado? She was only 20 and she could've been a waitress in Boulder.
What attracted my dad, a confirmed bachelor, to my mother?
How was it that a 20 year old girl was attracted to a man 11 years her senior?
How long did they date?
How did they end up in Denver where they married and how did they know the other couple (friends who were part of a dual wedding ceremony).
What happened from the time they married in1934 and eight years later when my dad enlisted in the army. They had moved to Chicago, Springfield, IL, Tampa, and back to Springfield—I think.
There are many more unanswered questions related to my mother's troubled childhood, which I will reveal next time. But you may wonder why I'm telling you about my family. By sharing my limited stories with you and listing my unanswered questions, you may be enlightened and encouraged to write your own family stories about yourself so that your children and their descendants may understand more about themselves and how they can manage their lives' issues through your ability to resolve your issues.
It's important to leave an Living Legacy, a collection of meaningful family stories to instill a a sense of family unity and understanding. Though I grew up in a loving family atmosphere, I was suffocating under my mother's apron strings. Even in my early 30s, she seemingly treated me like a child. If my mother had told me about her childhood and how she suffered, I likely would have fully understood what she went through, allowing myself to mature quicker and to have more self confidence.
Frank S. Adamo is a published author and blogger. He is also the founder of Embrace Our Heritage, an organization dedicated to reuniting families through family stories, modern technology, and support. Frank also assists others to leave Living Legacies for their loved ones and their future generations. To download a free e-book, click How do Leave a Legacy. Click Subscribe to subscribe to Frank's newsletters/blogs.