This is where I come from.
No, we weren’t sharecroppers in the dust bowl. We were the Moriartys from the south side of Chicago. This photo is of my parents and the first five children (I am number 8) on the back porch of the house we grew up on. Out of this motley crew, one became an aerospace engineer, one a college professor in engineering, one a transportation executive and one a psychologist/high school principal.
America is still the greatest country in the world. Schooling is free (if you choose public education). A library card costs nothing. We are the most resourced country in the world.
What will YOU do with all you’ve been given?
What are your excuses if you don’t?
And as for the last 3 kids, we became a geologist/computer programmer, a business school dean (among other callings!) and and attorney/author (me).
When I hear someone make excuses for their life based on how they were raised, I remember and give thanks for my own roots.
I am grateful that I am the keeper of the old photos. I have digitized them to share with my siblings and used them in various projects. Old photos are a treasure and a history book. If you have them, care for them and share them with the next generation.
I’m also grateful that I know what I come from. Some of my adopted kids may never know their backgrounds, beyond a few lines of information shared with social workers. They will always wonder.
What can you do to explore and preserve where you come from? A lot!
With renewed interest in genealogy, the marketplace is offering many options for research.
Ancestry.com might be your first stop. You can access vital, census and military records to begin to build your family tree. Even if you have scant information about your ancestors, you might make some delightful surprises here.
Another related service is Ancestry DNA. For $99, you submit a saliva sample and your DNA is analyzed for more than 700,000 genetic markers. You will be able to pinpoint your genetic ancestry!
Some families work together to assemble heirloom family scrapbooks. I have seen some beautiful books created that are filled with artistic flair as well as memories. To explore this, you might check out sites like www.scrapbook.com or visit your local Hobby Lobby for some hands-on inspiration.
In our family, telling our stories has been the way we have shared God’s faithfulness over the years. Looking at the memory and sharing the narrative are powerful ways to remind our kids that God has been involved in their lives from way back when, right up to the present day.
Perfecting an early sneer
An early public speaking debut, wherein I recited the following:
Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown,
Tapping at the window and crying through the lock,
Are all the children in their beds, it’s past eight o’clock?