My Mom & My Family Tree

I took this photo of me and my mom this past May on Mother’s Day. My mom does not really like having her photo taken and getting her to smile for a photo is a challenge. I usually have to take five photos in a row to try and capture her smiling.

I attended church with my mom this past Sunday to lend her support as it was her first time back to church since my stepdad died. It was the first church service in many years for me. Much to my surprise I found I am a traditionalist as far as church services go. I was disappointed they did not sing the songs I knew from my youth. I know they are trying to attract a large audience and typically I am all for new things but I found myself longing for what I knew. The church I attended with my mom is open minded and inclusive of all. I just wanted what was familiar.

I have learned a lot from my mom and all that has encompassed my stepfather’s passing and the aftermath. I live seventy five minutes from my mom and at times like this wish I lived closer. However, I have been listening to a lot of podcasts on the drive to and from my mom’s. Alan Alda’s Clear and Vivid is a favorite as well as a bunch from the BBC. Disgraceland and They Walk Among Us appeal to my dark side and help keep me balanced.

Sometimes I think my mom has forgotten what a strong woman she is and I remind her of her own strength. She raised me to be a strong woman and taught the same to my three sisters. I am looking forward to spending some afternoons on her front porch when the weather warms up. She has been helping me with my family tree. I got on ancestry.com and managed to trace one line of my family back five generations. I am intrigued with one of my great great grandfathers who was born in Saxony and died in North Dakota. I never heard any stories about a wandering grandfather. I want to know why he ventured to North Dakota and how and why he died in North Dakota. Another great great grandfather from what I can gather had more than a few families. Read into that what you may. My mom is helping me look into my Lithuanian family line. It has been difficult as they changed their names once they came to the United States. I am hoping to record my mom sharing family stories and history with me. I am really interested in the boarders her parents took in during World War Two. My mom’s parents met during World War One. I also found out I had a great aunt who wrote a lot of poetry so perhaps I descend from creatives I had no idea were there.

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