Yesterday I found my third great-grandparents, which made me happy and misty-eyed. Today Middlest and I were texting back and forth, discussing what to do when I pay a visit later this year. My child offered to accompany me to a nearby temple and hang out reverently while I served. Raleigh is the closest. I looked at my great great grandmother’s information and realized that she was born in North Carolina. And promptly burst into tears. She has a bushel of siblings whose work needs doing. So I’ve made the goal of taking one of my 2nd great aunts through what would be “her” temple if it had been on the earth while she was alive.
I have been hanging out with the dead people again today. They are most insistent. It is kinda like being sucked into heavenly quicksand, but instead of my lungs filling up with death, my heart fills up with tears. So many of them lost in the Civil War. So many children dying young. So many widows and widowers. So often I tell them, "Oh honey, I'm so sorry."
In the Church we are taught that through baptism we become Abraham's seed, even if there is no direct lineal connection. I have always assumed that I was adopted in through baptism. And I was wrong. I learned last year that Joseph Smith is my 7th cousin 5x removed (via John Denison and Agnes Willie) through my mother; my 11th cousin 3x removed (via William Offley and Elizabeth Dillorne) through my father; my 14th cousin once removed (via John Dinham and Philippe Lovel) through my father; and my 12th cousin three times removed (via Richard Rich and Catherine Cutherey) through my father. There are, no doubt, other connections to discover.
The Candy Bomber (Gail Seymour Halvorsen) is my tenth cousin. Jon Huntsman is my 11th cousin once removed. Cleon Skousen is my 13th cousin once removed. J. Willard Marriott is my 13th cousin twice removed. Mitt Romney is my 14th cousin. Thomas Edwin Ricks is my 8th cousin three times removed (via William Harris and Alice Smythe) through my father. Beloved is also related to Thomas Ricks, but I haven't found the connection, so technically my husband is some sort of cousin.
But I digress. We know from the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith was prophesied by Joseph the son of Jacob to be the prophet of the Restoration. Joseph Smith was a literal descendant of Abraham, through Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Which means that I am a literal descendant of Abraham, et al. This does not make me any cooler than the rest of humanity, but it deepens my testimony that Heaven wanted me to be found when I was one of the wandering.
What time I haven't been working on family history, has been spent reading the February issue of the Ensign. And there were two naps. And I ate what feels like a lot but probably wasn't. Meaning that I ate a lot of small meals but maybe not enough to fuel the recuperation, because I ate a couple of hours ago, and I'm hungry again.
I can't decide if I'm also sleepy again, but it's time to take my meds and do something else.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!