Lives Past

Last fall, my Mom passed away after a long and full life.  Dad had left us sixteen years earlier and she’d been alone and lonely ever since, no matter who or how many were with her or nearby.

Since then, I’ve been going through things left behind, sharing some, deciding what to save, what to pack away or even which to toss.

Yesterday, I found a stack of “memory books,” that are prepared during the time of a loved one’s funeral.  One of them was for my father’s mother.  As I looked through it, I found names of some that I remembered, some I did not, all gone now, and a few mementos that had been inserted for posterity (I suppose that’s me).

My grandmother was first generation Dutch.  Her parents had immigrated  from Holland in the mid-1800’s.  The story that I’ve heard was that Great-Grandma had come at age fifteen to be married in Dolgeville, New York: ship to New York, canal boat to Albany (I think), train, and stagecoach – she thought she was going to uninhabited wilderness to live among Indians.

Grandma was one of five or six siblings, and somehow managed to meet my grandfather who lived approximately fifty miles away, in Oneida, New York, and they settled there on part of his family’s property.

It seems to be “fate,” or is it just coincidence, that I found her birth certificate yesterday, the day before her 114th birthday?

Grandma’s Birth Certificate

(Click image to open in larger view)


7 responses to “Lives Past

  1. I’m the “believes in things happen for a reason” type of person. This is a very precious document. I wish it would be discovered again after 100 years!

    • I think you are right, Cristina, about things happening for a reason. I’ve put the document back where I found it and hopefully it will be there for another 100 years.

      Thanks for taking time to comment!

  2. You just never know what you might find!

  3. Exactly! That’s why it’s taking quite awhile to go through Mom’s things.

  4. Francis, that is so cool! What a gift!

  5. I am not much for “fate”. I believe more that what we choose or need is there for us at the right time. I think it is wonderful that you have traced things back that far. I would like to do that someday with my family. Perhaps, I shall.

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