Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Family Links

Currently Reading: The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston and The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

I love old photographs.
My great-great-grandmother Mildred Gray Driver with two of her sons. One may be my great-grandfather Graydon.
I love to gaze at family photos- at their smiles, their facial features, yearning to catch a glimpse of myself in their jaw line or hair color.(I do apologize for the grainy quality of these photos... they didn't download as I had hoped.)

I wonder about their dreams and hopes and the thoughts going through their mind as this picture was taken. Were they happy with their lives? What were their best memories? What irritated them? What did their voices sound like? What did they pray? What did they dream of? 
My great-great-grandparents John and Wilhelmina Kastning, on their wedding day June 4, 1891.
My passion for history and genealogy no doubt stems from an active imagination, one that causes me to lose myself fully in my research and in the stories I unearth. Studying crinkled photographs and weathered papers allows me a brief respite from this world and entry into theirs. My pleasure for research is not solely in the gleaning of information, but in the sacred moments when I find their name in a newspaper or study their portraits, for it is then that I feel as if I am giving them another moment of life. In that moment, they are remembered and thought of, no longer forgotten. I love my line of work because I know I am connecting families and making the dead alive again in some small way.
My great-great-great grandparents Friedrich and Charlotte Kastning, parents of John. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from my father's side of the family scanned into my computer yet. Soon enough!
I love to gaze at these faces- so long gone, but still somehow part of me. Still a part of this world, even though they are no longer in it.

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