The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Posts tagged “FAMILY

Pretty ribbons, pretty paper…

of blue; wrap your presents to your darling from you were lyrics to one of her favorite songs. Her favorite color was blue. Her favorite people were her grandchildren. She lived a lonely life alone for most of her adult years. But when

My Darling Kim 1964

My Darling Kim 1964

she died she left a hole in the hearts of four grandchildren: Kim, Gary, Mark and Julie. She left them behind with only her memories; she left little of monetary value but that mattered little to them. 

What she left was mostly pictures that were valued beyond gold that were left to be treasured. And every card that her granddaughter had sent to her or given her was stacked and tied together. That was a tender moment watching her as she held that stack. The biggest treasure for her granddaughter was the little photo of her when she was born that Mammy had written “Darling Kim” on it.

Mammy was Marie Kerby Wright. The photo with the three adults leaves us to wonder, just who is that handsome man dressed to the nines and who is so suave and debonaire in the photo? On the left is Marie Kerby’s brother-in-law Jimmy Marks. In the middle is Marie Kerby all petite and young. And her sister Irene Kerby Marks took the photo as her shadow can be seen in the photo as she held the camera.  But the gentleman on the right is not identified. Could it be a Butler who lived nearby? Perhaps, a Butler descendant can answer that question and solve that puzzle for us. The  photograph is vintage 1944 or 1945 and the photo was taken at Seven Points in Florence, Alabama.


Things I Learned from Cancer 101 (9)

Lobular Breast Cancer. Single file cells and c...

Lobular Breast Cancer Cells

by Sandra Pullen on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 9:51am

You know that sinking feeling you get in your gut while standing on the edge of a cliff?  Yeah, that one.  Hold that thought.

Now, imagine that you have just been told to step off…………..

 There is nothing but air.   You will surely fall and die. 

Next, I want you to take that “feeling of fear”  and transpose it on to the face of every one you love. That is what the family of a cancer patient looks like………….

I am the oldest of five children.  Born and raised in a time when you never worried about your children playing outside, as a matter of fact, none of us ever considered staying inside on a beautiful day. 

A bicycle was the accepted mode of transportation.  Designer jeans were not an issue.   No cell phones for distraction.

You had everything you needed…your best friend and a dollar for a drink and a honey bun at the store.

You went to Church on Sunday, and Mom never had to make us go.  Our attendance was expected.

Life never got much more complicated than that.

Our family has been abundantly blessed with good health.   Grandparents lived to ripe old ages, after living a full and happy life.

The closest I had ever come to cancer was a paternal aunt with Breast Cancer.   It was so long ago, that I barely remembered it.

Then it happened.  The diagnosis. The surgery.  The recovery.  The acceptance. The establishment of “new normal.”

To rebuild  your life after the beast enters is not the easiest thing to do.  I did what I had to do. It never occurred to me to give up, to not do what I had determined I would do and be in my life.

But.. my precious family still had to deal.

Looking back, I can see that each of them dealt with the beast in their own way.

My brothers and sisters have always known and still do, that I am here for them. They can talk to me about anything. Sometimes I give good advice, and sometimes I just listen.

But I’ve always been here.

Now they had to face the possibility that I may not “be here” 

I know they love me.  I never doubt that, just as they know I love them.  We have and will always love each other.

If you know my family, you know these truths..

1. We are affectionate.

We love one another and  are not afraid to show it.  Hugging is acceptable. Kissing is optional.

2. We are loyal.

All for one and one for all.

3. We are always and I mean always here for each other. 

No one has to go through troubles alone, not with the Peebles Clan.

4. We are LOUD!

I know, but the truth is what it is.  I have watched many videos of us at family gatherings and the volume has to be turned down.

Like my daughter Shelley says, “It’s the only way to be heard in this family, to get louder than others.”

My family is very important to me.  I was taught that you “took care” of the little ones.  And I did that. 

I have been told, I did it so well, that I would take their punishment for them. 

Now before you get all “well she is just bragging” on me, wait a second…

I was only a little girl, and I certainly don’t remember doing it…….so it’s not as noble as it sounds. But… I would do it today in a heartbeat.

Just as they would for me.

But the beast was one enemy that they couldn’t fight for me. That one had to be dealt with one on one 

.Man to man.

Beast to SURVIVOR

Every brother, every sister that I have would have fought the beast for me. I know that, if they could they would have gladly done what ever it took to get me through the battle with the beast.

But in life,  there are some battles that are meant to be fought alone.  The only help you have or will ever have is HIM.

And that is all a warrior needs in a battle of any kind is HIM.

Please never think that I am better than any other survivor out there. I never felt special or singled out for any special or divine purpose.

I was just a working mother, with a life that I loved and a family that I loved.

Battling a beast as strong as cancer was not on my life’s agenda.  Or so I thought. Now, looking back, I realize that it is exactly what I was supposed to do and be.

It is a time of my life of wonderful lessons.

Lessons learned and hopefully taught to others through my struggles of how life can be lived.  And that the beast doesn’t always win.

Most of the time it wins, but there are those times that we can look at with new hope, new faith, new strength. Those are the times that we should strive for whether dealing with cancer or with the jerk who cut you off on Woodward Avenue.

Those times when you know you are loved, you know you are strong, you know you are the “best you can be”

You just know !

And if the battle with the beast is lost………………………..

What then???

Well, to be absent here is to be present……………where???

That is the question.

I love my family, they love me.

There are just no givens in life. No certain outcomes. No promise of another day. No guarantee that what you want is what you’ll get. Not one of us is guaranteed our next breathe.

But you are promised an eternity. Time without end.

A wonderful alternative to the beast

Eternity, what a lovely word

The next lesson I learned from cancer, and every day life is this.

Family is the heart of the matter

We don’t get to choose them. They are GIVEN to us.  I love that idea!!   This group of people were chosen just for me. This Mother, this Father and these brothers and sisters are mine.

There is no one in the world who has a family like mine.  The unique personalities and bond that we share is not so common these days.

I’m not saying that we are perfect…… just that we are perfect for each other.  Mom, Dad, Anthony, Beth, Bryan and Karen

You are truly my foundation.

Family…. The Heart of the Matter.


Mother…

is a two-syllable word that means so much to so many people. But that one little word has the ultimate importance once the person that owns that name is gone.

Sue Burden and I were talking after she had lost her mother in January of 2007. She stated, I am now an orphan. Imagine that, being an orphan when you are our age. I did not comprehend the profoundness of that statement at the time. We had both already lost our fathers and that was hard, mighty hard. Hard. I. Say. She went on to state that losing Daddy was hard, but losing her mother seemed harder; she questioned if it was harder because now she felt like an orphan. She said she no longer ‘belonged’ to someone; there was no one left that ‘had’ to love her no matter what. Others could choose to love her, but they were not commanded or required to do so, like a Mother.

Mother

A handmade gift from my daughter

I did not learn the aptness of the statement until just nine months later, I too would be an orphan. Mothers have such power and do not even know it. Think about it. A child can divorce a spouse; but a child can not ‘divorce’ a mother. Mother is the first to hold a child at birth. Mother is the one that mends broken hearts. Mother is someone a daughter looks up to when little; someone she just can not get along with in the tween and teen years; someone who is a built-in babysitter when the daughter becomes a mother herself; and the one the daughter strives not to become like, until at a certain age the daughter decides that she is her mother after all. And, hopefully, does not feel that to be a bad thing. It is then that a daughter and mother become best friends forever.

But then comes the time when Mother does not exist anymore except in the hearts of the ones she loved and sacrificed for most of her life. And, yes, Sue was right; is right. Maybe it is because we both lost our fathers first, but for some reason at the loss of our Mothers we both have the ‘orphan’ syndrome. Or maybe it is because Mother could take little pieces of nothing and make something to be cherished out of it – like the pillow she cross-stitched for my daughter about how a Grandchild is special. Before she gave it to my daughter, her first great-grandchild was born and she added to the cross-stitch “and Great-grandchildren, too.”  Maybe it is because as my colleague said, you KNOW who your mother is and that creates a bond stronger than steel. Afterall, it is a scientific fact that when soldiers fall on the battlefield, the one they cry out for is Mother. As an aside, could that be why the military forces the servicemen/women to write back home to Mother first?  And losing Mother is not easy to get through. Maybe it is not something you get through but something you have to endure. Either way, it is hard.

The cross-stitched Mother with flowers and butterfly was stitched just for me by my daughter. I have kept it for a lot of years now. I think that little item, along with a little white satin heart-shaped pillow that had Mothers are Special stitched on it are my best-loved treasures from her; with the exception of the diplomas and degrees that she earned and the obvious exception of  my grandson.

Now I understand Roy Acuff‘s song from long ago titled “Will the Circle be Unbroken“.  I believe that Sue would agree with me that Roy Acuff felt like an ‘orphan’ on that day, at least he conveyed it in his strong presentations of the song. The lyrics make this lonesome plea…

I was standing by my window on a cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rolling to carry mother away
Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

I said to the undertaker undertaker please drive slow
For this lady you are hauling oh I hate to see her go                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

I will follow close behind her try to hold up and be brave
But I could not hide my sorrow when they laid her in her grave
Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

Went back home and home was lonesome since my mather she had gone
Found my brothers sisters crying what a home so sad and lone
Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

On the next article, there will be a photo of my mother and Sue’s mother to honor them. They were best of friends just as Sue and I are best of friends now – and have been all our lives.

This poem was given to me many years ago by my daughter as well:

God made Mothers 
God knows that children always need someone to show them the way;
A special  someone warm and kind to care for them each day...
He knew that children need someone compassionate and wise
to teach them how to walk and talk and sing them lullabies...
God knew that children always need a love beyond compare
tohelp them in so many ways, to understand and care 
- and that is why  
God made Mothers. 


A little humor today…

or is it funny? It is truly the life in your years that is important. This graphic came in an email from a friend, so I adapted it from the MILK slogan to the MOMS slogan. The MOMS slogan must be very meaningful and purposeful. It must resonant with the kids. Now, what will it be? Post your suggestions.

Just know that Mother is the first one they cry for at birth and the one they scream for when hurt on the battlefield. Never let anyone make you think you are not important or a piece of property or a piece of anything else; or omg* and wtf**…hazardous material!!!!!!

As a widow with a young daughter and young son a fellow teacher found herself in a dilemma. She was a wonderful lady I taught with many years ago who said this about mothers when her son was taunting her authority as Mother, “There is one thing for **** sure, you know who your Mother is; and all you know about your Father is what I told you.”  I have never forgotten that phrase or that teacher. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world – no more, no less.

The life in your years...

The life in your years...

 
 
Let the Fun BEGIN!!!!   The new lexicon for Mothers of all ages:
 
MOMS=  [to be determined]
omg*=  One Mother Gone fill in the next word as appropriate
wtf** = Wave That Flag
lol = laughing outloud loudly

Average and infamous…

ordinary and extraordinary, might describe members of the large Elias James family. Pictured below are Elias James and Cynthia McGary Richardson James and their large family. Elias James fought as part of the valiant 16th Regiment of Alabama Infantry, CSA in the War of Northern Aggression. He was a relative of the infamous James brothers, Frank and Jessie. The outlaw Jessie James was rumored to be hiding out at Elias James’ place at one time.

Elias James married Cynthia McGary Richardson, (b. 4 Mar 1847, d. 18 May 1915). They settled at Pogo, just West of Pleasant Site, where they resided in a log cabin that had a “beautiful cold water spring” and a “milk house where milk was kept cool in the running water”. This is at the base of the Freedom Hills, overlooking the beautiful valley.

The buildings are now gone but the James cemetery is still there, hidden in the woods above where the cabin once stood. The cabin is the backdrop for the family photograph below

Cynthia was the daughter of John Richardson (b. 14 Jan 1796 GA, d. 12 Jan 1876) and Nancy Hester, (b. Oct 11 1808, d. Jan 26 1853). At least two of Cynthia’s brothers served in the Confederate Army and fought at the Battle of Shiloh. Cynthia’s maternal grandparents were William H. “Buck” Hester and Amy Malone. Amy was the daughter of John Malone and Anne Blackwell of Granville County, North Carolina. “Buck” and Amy Hester came to Franklin County in 1818.

Tell us what you know about them.

Elias James Family



Back Row left to right: Daniel James holding rifle, Joe Gardner James, Nancy Catherine “Kate” James Grissom, Neoma Samantha “Dobe” James George, Marthie Melisey “Mattie” James Culligan, “Lula” James Thomas, Jennie Burton James (Enoch James’s daughter), Lula James (nee Grissom).

Front Row left to right: Modena Alice “Dena” James, Elias holding unidentified grandson, Cynthia Richardson, Cynthia (behind), Nannie, Amos James holding Elmer, Letha James (back), Mollie James (front), Elias “Shug” James, Thomas Enoch “Tom” James holding Floy James, Edna James, John James holding Myrtle James, Lillie James and Bertha James. People in the photograph were identified by Joe Clark James (1896-1985), son of “Ab” Alfred Clark James; son of Elias and Cynthia but not pictured in the photo.


Descendants of Matthias Yocum…

Pictured is Marion Matthias Calvin Reed who was a grandson of my Matthias Yocum by Matthias Yocum’s daughter Susan E Yocum. Marion M C Reed married Mary Lee Jackson. The photo captures their children, their children’s spouses and their grandchildren. These all look like fine people to me.

Matthias was born in Kentucky in 1780 and died in Franklin County, Alabama in 1870. It is not known where he is buried. Another of Matthias Yocum’s daughters, Mary Ann Yocum, who married John Wesley Allen, was my great-great-great-grandmother on my paternal side. So, if your name connects with Murray, Allen, Isbell, Peebles, Tolbert, Terry, Gregory, Vandiver, Sparks, Yocum, Bryant, Linam, Lucas, Smith, Elkins, Goins, Norwood, Brown, Birdwell, Hollingsworth, McBride, Box, or Harbin, then we are likely related in several directions. Further, the name is also spelled Yoakum, Jochem, and Yokem.

Descendants of Matthias Yocum

Marion Mathias Calvin Reed and Mary Lee Jackson Reed family