Allen got started researching our family trees a little over a week ago. He's using Ancestry.com which allows him (and me) to search census records, birth and death certificates, and marriage licenses, among many other documents. It is exciting putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and if we are correct, we can trace parts of our tree back to ships coming from Ireland, England, and the Netherlands. It becomes rather mind-boggling how quickly a tree branches and includes hundreds of ancestors within several generations.
....Hubert S. Sullivan & Ruth Agnes Street; Joseph Floyd Doss & Emma Lou Patton; Alfred Y. Martindale & Katherine O. Strozier; Isaac Therman Lynch & Gladys Potts; Richard B. Richardson & Rena Gertrude Lassiter; Thomas J. Keefe & Grace Genevieve Healy; Alvie Dee Moore & Madie Ellen Pollard; Charles T. Friddle & Mabel Thomelson...
A list of names. Some I remember, some I never met. All now passed on to a different place, but all contributed to the life that Allen and I call our own. These are our great-grandparents, and we are their legacy.
Recently, a loved member of the Lynch family suddenly left this life and made the journey to Heaven. Susan Lynch's death, along with our research into ancestry reminded me of what an impact great grandparents, grandparents, and parents have on their children. My second cousin, and Susan's nephew wrote the following to our family.
To All of My Family,
I've always known all of this, but it's all even more prominent right now, so I am seizing an opportunity. I just want to say how lucky I feel to have the family I have. I've noticed there isn't a single post by one of my aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, great aunts, moms, dad, or siblings on Facebook without someone outside of the family commenting something about how close and loving our family is, how special we are, or how much they love us.
Besides the comforting aspect of knowing we all have friends, families of our significant other, etc that care so much about each of us individually, it makes me so proud of our family to see people comment on how special we are. I know it makes papa smile down on us and now aunt Susan too. This is the foundation nannie and papa built. Actually, it is deeper than that...it's my great grandparents Lynch and Hadley, who I never even knew, that started the foundation and we have constructed a strong building on that foundation. I don't mean to sound conceited about who we are, but I feel like there is something so extraordinarily special about our family that unfortunately most people are only able to dream of having. I am so thankful for that. I am also so thankful each of you are in my life and that I am able to proudly call you family.
I love each of you more than I can ever express. And even though we may not see each other as often as we should, I hope you all know that. And always know, as well as I do, that we each have a family that always has been and always will be there for one another. It is something that just makes my heart overfilled with joy.
I realize how sappy this letter may seem to some of you, but it is the honest truth coming straight from my heart.
This has all been in my heart for a long time, and right now its so much of an overwhelming feeling that I wanted to make sure to say it to everyone.
Isn't it so awesome to know that you have a group of people in your corner no matter what.... and a group of people that love you for who you are no matter what??
I can barely read it without tears coming to my eyes...I know
its true. And the thing is, Jeremy was talking about the Lynch family, but I have a legacy and foundation from the Doss and Lynch family...and Allen has a legacy from the Sullivan and Martindale family. So, this Thanksgiving, even though we are much further than we wish to be from our beloved families, I thank the Lord for a legacy of laughter, cooking, fun and games, and song. But most of all I am thankful that mine and Allen's families are Christians and have given us a strong foundation of love for Jesus Christ, our Lord. The only question that remains is whether we will carry this beautiful tradition of love and prayer forward. Will our great-grandchildren remember us lovingly with appreciation for our prayers and support?
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
|Dad (Jeff), Ben, Mary Catherine, Anna, John Isaac, & Mom (Anita) at Gramma Lynch's house in Berryville, Arkansas|
|Doss cousins (starting top left): Ben, Isaac, John Isaac, Lilly, Mary Catherine, Eden, Robin, Anna, Nathan, Cassie, Jeff, and Clare|