Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Cemeteries And Cousins



Happy New Year from Houston where I arrived several hours ago from Arkansas. I had a wonderful nine days and put many miles on the Honda Fit! The longer I live, the more I love my family and know I'm blessed by them. Yesterday, I met my newest cousins, eighteen month old twins Bailey (girl) and Griffin (boy) Fox, the children of Melanie (and her husband, Jacob) who is the daughter of my first cousin, Debbie and her husband, David. They aren't the newest babies- my nephew, Ben, and his wife Courtney introduced Jenson into the world in July. And in April, my nephew, Seth, and his wife, Lauren, are due to deliver a little girl, named Adeline, and I hope I spelled that correctly. Our family tree is alive and well and we hope the trend continues!

But to have a family tree, you need roots. Last Saturday, my Uncle Jack, our family historian, told me I needed to know a little more about my McClure relatives- my maternal grandmother, Ruth, was a McClure. He's right; I know much more about the Chesshir family which was my grandfather's side. Uncle Jack took me on a walking tour of the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery which is right up the road from the family farm owned by Uncle Jack and Aunt Jerry outside of Nashville, Arkansas. He knew where my relatives were interred and there were quite a few of them. I was most fascinated by the stone pictured above. I can't remember what Uncle Jack told me my relation was to the lady buried there but I noted several things. One, she died in 1854 and might have had the first funeral on the site. Second, her first name was Sarah, my mother's name as well and according to Uncle Jack, the name of many of our female kin. And thirdly, the spelling of Sarah's last name was changed by the next headstone I saw, inverting the r and the e. Uncle Jack was right- you can learn quite a bit about your past from those you will never meet. 

One of many believers' favorite chapters in the Bible is Hebrews 11, sometimes called the Faith Hall of Fame. Why would the writer recount snippets of the heroics of these titans of the Old Testament? (Some of us with our 21st century wisdom might even snicker at the inclusion of Samson.) Well, I guess we need to know all we can about our ancestors, even in the spiritual realm. Without the retelling, the danger is forgetting. We need scriptural reminders constantly of those who paved the way of faith for us several millenia down the road. And every family needs an Uncle Jack, who not only knows the family history but is willing to pass it on. As for Bailey and Griffin, they have an incredibly bright future, simply based on who their parents are. Bailey and I did not hit it off well- she cried when I tried to hold her for a picture. There will be reunions, and hopefully, we'll make up. And hopefully, we'll always have an Uncle Jack to tell the story of Bailey's and Griffin's and my family. 

Applicable quote of the day:
“The fence around a cemetery is foolish, for those inside can't get out and those outside don't want to get in.”

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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