Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pass On The Past

Photo albums. I've seen them at farm sales, at estate sales. Pictures are disposed of when a generation passes. The old album is dusty on a shelf or buried in a box. Names on ragged photos omitted. Most of this later generation have no interest in or knowledge of these people in black and white.

I am the keeper of the stories of our family. The people in these pictures are part of me. The faces my parents chose to keep in albums should be important to me.

I love looking through Mom's old photo album. The pictures that end up on my blog are carefully taken from the album. Maybe I recognize a location. Pictures are a story in themselves. Personalities come alive. I can see what grew in the yard, what was parked outside of the barn, the chairs we played on as children those that were our parents as well. I see adults as children. My parents young once more.

 Aunt Esther came along long after my father and his brothers. I love this picture of Mom holding her outside of my grandparents' home which is no longer standing. Since only knowing her as an adult, it seems strange to see my mother holding her. Mom is so lovely, so happy. A picture of a younger mom I didn't know. A picture of a cherished child.

In another I see the women I grew up knowing. The Hollinger cousins. A group of beautiful women. My Aunt Kate holding my cousin, Karen. A picture of my grandmother surrounded by the women who loved her. Probably one of the last taken of her.

Photos. Do we just walk around them, leaving them for someone else to wonder over? Will they be tossed aside by those who do not know the people or the significance of those before their time?

There are few people who still remember me as a child. They have been on a journey with me for sixty-three years. They are a part of my history, the history of my children.

We don't have names that show our heritage as in olden times. Pam the daughter of Willard and Ruth. Or even a name like Willard Farmer. Loxley probably stems from a locksmith way back when. In England the name is spelled Locksley. They had no cameras. They captured their heritage in a name, a story. The griot, the recanteur, the bard, the jongleur, the scop, the spinner of yarns. For centuries stories have been told and histories captured in song, poetry and tale.

My mother was a spinner of yarns. She could entertain anyone with a story making it bigger than life. We always cut everything she told us in half. She was the storyteller.

My blog is my history....and maybe yours. Perhaps you will take more time to remember and share with your family. Perhaps you will dust off the old album and pen in a few names.

I chose my maiden name to be part of my legal name so I could carry on the Loxley name. No sons will carry it on. I will write my history for my children. I will continue to investigate my family history. My sisters and I continue to talk about our growing up. They tell me of a time I was too little to remember. A history will be passed on.

Song, poetry, storytelling. I open my computer and write.

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