Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All Things Elderkin

I wont ever say that all the genealogy on any one particular line of a family is complete. I have to give kudos to my Aunt Jacqueline. She has uncovered and shared so much of our Elderkin Family History over the years and I have felt blessed to be the recipient lately of all her hard work. In sharing and relating stories, discoveries and tidbits of information, many missing paragraphs of our recent family history have been filled in. I had a chance to sit with my sister this last month, pouring over old family photos and remembering the events that accompanied them. I was given an insight into my mother that I wish I would have had even just a few years ago. My Aunt and I also shared our thoughts about some particularly "randy" events of my grandfather in his youth, after which I had an epiphany. What in my own life, have I not shared, good/bad/ugly/frightening/sorrowful, that may provide an opportunity for my children or one day their children, to learn from my actions. And with perfect timing as always, here comes Sunday School and Alma Chpts 36-39, Alma's letters to his sons. What does he share, his testimony, his mistakes, and gives each one his counsel regarding those lessons learned, those experiences that maybe many of us would not share (For reasons of shame, guilt, embarrassment, fear, regret… the list could go on).

What courage Alma had. What insight as a parent, to be so honest. To share his testimony, his faith and do it in a way that had power and meaning with his own example.

My grandfather taught me many things just by the type of man he was. I knew him as a grandfather and not the young, restless man of his youth. I remember his music, his sheepish grin and the twinkle in his eyes; the smell of his pipe. I remember his stories. He could weave a yard like no-other. His patience in putting me on a horse for the first time, walking the farm lands and telling the tales of a life more simple. He passed on to me a generational love for this family he/WE had come from.

When sitting with my great-grandmother (a teacher who lived to be a centenarian and until the age of 101, remembered my birthday with a card every year), listening to her tales of life and family, I saw my grandfather's heritage. I saw the people who I came from and who wanted to continue to pass on their love of family and all things Elderkin.

The name of Heller is typed onto the papers of my birth certificate, but I carry the name of Elderkin in my genes, in my passions, in my perspectives and in my heart.