Saturday, December 15, 2012

Labor of Love

The package arrived two days ago, the same day our daughter returned home from college.  I knew if I opened it, I would become so immersed in all the videos and pictures that my daughter would feel like an orphan.  The package was like the Christmas present under the tree you can't wait to rip open.  Last night I shared the care package with my wife and children.  We watched 90 minutes of movies that began in 1930 on my grandparent's wedding day.  The movie covers five generations spanning over thirty years.

I would like to give a big shout out to my cousin Mary and my aunt Teresa who invested over one year of their lives scanning old photos, getting in touch with distant relatives who contributed more stories and pictures, and identifying all the people from our past.  Special recognition goes to my cousin, Bill, who offered a family tree.  Honorable mention goes to the recently discovered lost branch of our family who filled in some missing pieces.  Kristi and Lorraine, you made the video extra special for me because I saw the movie through your eyes and your memories.  It was all there just as you described, Lorraine -- the rabbits my great-grandparents raised, the victory garden, even the visits to grandma's house when my dad and his siblings were so young.  Our cousin, John R, paid Mary a visit and generously loaned his collection of photos for scanning; his contribution is now part of a treasure chest of memories future generations will benefit from.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause.  And a Mrs. Clause.  They bear gifts from their hearts.  They demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas.  Their labor of love far exceeded the normal nine month birthing process and I'm sure there were times when they wondered if they would ever see the light of day.  I can't wait to view the rest of the collection.  For now, I need to put my gift away and spend the day watching our youngest son in his wrestling tournament.  It's 5:15 AM here in Iowa and the rest of the family is waking up.  My writing day is over for now and my family day is just beginning.  See you tomorrow. 

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