Building on a thought from a friend…

Even though I love it when people post to my blogs (the two who have)…I opted of not replying to my friend sa rah’s blog only because I had to sign up for another blog site and I didn’t want to do that (sorry girl)…here is what she wrote today and my response to it (or my take on what she wrote about and my thoughts about the whole thing):

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 i had two moments today wherein i was presented with the fragility of life. i suppose i’ve been looking for these moments of late. I feel very intensely the falling away of time with my dad, my mom and my brothers. Having a child will do that.

I realize the finitude of my life and times by looking at my baby. I will die someday and I will be a memory to him. He will die someday and all memory of me in this world will die with him. That is the extent of my presence here.

And the same for him. And the same for you.

And we’re lucky. Lucky to have made it far enough to make memories. Lucky enough to have impacted someone else’s memories. Lucky to have taken life for granted and dared the world to steal it from us.

This is trite. But this is what i make of it right now.

– sa rah

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My response:

A few summers ago my family had a reunion in western Kansas and we toured the area where my family first settled.  One of the most amazing things that I saw that day was where my great-great-great grandfather and g-g-g-grandmother called “home”.  It was maybe a 5′ x 5′ structure that had a thatched roof and walls made of limestone rocks stacked on top of one another.  Of course all that was left was 2 partial walls that only stood a foot high.  We had to get permission from the current land owners to go down and see what they probably thought was just a pile of rocks – not something that was a home to my family.  With about 50 of my family members standing around this “home”,  my grandfather told us stories of their day to day life, their encounters with Indians, their struggles.  After 100 years their memory was still alive and in essence they were as well. 

I learned a lot about my family that day – 5 generations of family. I also was able to go back to the homestead that my great grandfather built and where my grandfather grew up and to see where my great grandmother raised her children and made a wonderful home.  My last memory of the homestead was when she died when I was a child.  We went back to the house after the burial and I remember playing upstairs and sitting in one of the bedrooms and thinking that this was just the greatest house ever – a bit spooky – but great.  I remember looking at photographs of her, she was so tall and stately looking and had the kindest eyes, and of hearing stories about her. The stories and the pictures have kept her alive all of these years and she will be kept alive through my first daughter as she will share her name and I will pass down the memories I have of my grandfather telling me stories of his mom. 

Life’s finitude is scary especially when we reach any point that says “hey – watch it – you are not going to live forever”.  I have a great fear of not being here but it is waylaid for a few precious moments when I think about this family reunion and how over 100 years of memories have not died with the people we have loved – they have continued because we will always be connected – be it through family or friends – their stories will be shared and in essence they will continue.  I will always remember you and have memories that I will pass to my children (once they reach a certain age…) and my children will then remember you as well as theirs…and we will never be gone from this world, really. 

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2 Comments on “Building on a thought from a friend…”

  1. sa rah Says:

    that was an awesome post. seriously, thanks. i really enjoyed your take on it.

  2. Ellen Says:

    Ok, I am not the writer that either of you are, but I also REALLY enjoyed Sarah’s post and wanted to comment, but didn’t want to sign up for the other blog. Jesi, the story of your family was really cool. What a neat experience!


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