Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Tree

Massie Creek Cemetery, Cedarville, Ohio
Well it would make sense I'd be talking about "The Tree".  It is December, we even had snow and many are thinking about Christmas.  Folks have their houses decorated with lights inside and out.  Many people are thinking about gifts and parties and all the excitement the Christmas season brings.

I am not thinking of any of these things.  I am still thinking I missed September, October and November!  Where did fall go?  I was slowly trying to make the needed transition in my personal clock when a sudden unexpected death came to the family.  My husband's amazing sister, Elaine, made her journey to the spirit world last week.  All things come to a stop when a healthy person is suddenly taken from the family that loved her.  The holiday season will shine less brightly this year, for she was a brilliant light in our small family.

If you can imagine Elaine as a circle, with another circle being family touching her circle, another circle of students touching Elaine's circle, and another circle of educational professionals, and another circle of friends, and another circle of neighbors.  All of these circles touched Elaine's circle, those circles touched other circles that were influenced and guided by Elaine's circle, all touching the circle next to their circle and continuing to reach other circles, and so it ripples on and on.  The effects one person has on the world in which they live can be astounding!  Those ripples will be forever on-going and shared with the next circle.  Doesn't that make you think about your circle and how your ripples will be felt as you walk on this earth?

Of course, I'm meandering again, none of that has anything to do with "The Tree", which is the title of my thoughts today.  I'm not writing about the Christmas tree either.  I am thinking about the "Family Tree".  The one that connects the past to the present.  The names on the Family Tree are what has sparked this blog.  I wish I'd thought more about the names on the Family Tree when choosing names for our children.  I love that our children did give family names consideration when naming their children.  I hope when their children are grown up they too will think about family names.

This is one of my favorite quotes and I totally believe that "The earth will always remember people as long as we continue to say their name."  Once we stop using a name, as generations continue is that person forgotten?  By continuing to use the names from the Family Tree, the person is remembered into another generation, people will ask, how did you get your name and you would be able to say it came from an aunt or uncle, a grandfather or grandmother, sparking a memory or a story of that person, and they are remembered!  Just look at people in history, the ones that made a difference, their names continue on and on.  Is it wrong to want some immortality?  Maybe that is why I write about our family stories, why I share the little things that I see day to day, as well as my life as an artist, about friends that have helped me on my travels on this earth.  Will my art be treasured by the next generation and will they know how much I loved creating something special from something as simple as a gourd.  Will they remember the music I played on my little wooden flute, will they hold in their hearts my love for them?

My own name has no family history that I am aware of.  My wonderful husband, James Richard, is the third generation to have the first name James, we also gave our son, Ryan, the first name of James.  That has been lost now, unless his girls choose to name a son with that first name.  Ryan's girls have middle names that reflect names from the family tree.  Our daughter Trisha, has a part of my middle name and she gave her youngest another version of our middle name.  Their sons also have family names with their own first names.  And so "The Tree" holds a treasure of names, to ensure the earth will always remember people as long as we continue to say their name. 

I know that the Decembers that follow will bring back memories of Christmas's spent with Elaine and her family.  We will rejoice in her gifts of knowledge and love when we gather as a family and say her name.....  Maybe now I can start thinking about the Christmas tree and rejoice in memories of my sister and friend, Elaine.


  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister-in-law. Both my parents passed in the fall, which always makes it a bittersweet season for me. I enjoyed your "meandering thoughts" very much today about the family tree. It made me think of my own name "Cynthia Fern" which came from both my Grandmothers. My father's mother was Cynthia and my Mom's mother was Fern. I've always felt a certain pride in telling people for whom I'm named. I wonder, as you do, if the stories and names of families will be carried down and remembered. In our fast paced world of email, texting and cyber-connecting, perhaps blogs such as yours' will serve the purpose of keeping the family stories alive. I hope so.

  2. Katie in Seattle, WAFriday, December 03, 2010

    This is so beautiful. Thank you. I recommend you watch the trailer for this amazing film, called GriefWalker.

    I saw him speak, and he says that our society is also ill because we do not carry our ancestors in our hearts. We are terrified to die for good reason, because more and more, we are forgotten.

    I have been calling in my ancestors at many occasions, and thanking them, and inviting them to join me. I have been making an attempt to carry them in my heart. It stretches the heart!

  3. blessings to you and yours, mz cynthia... there is a special pocket in your heart that carries your loved ones close enough to hear them whisper in your ear.