This weekend I received a copy of the life history of my Great Uncle Mel. My Great Uncle Mel Dalton is in his 90’s living down in Moab, Utah and I have heard stories about him from the time I was a little girl. He is the brother to my Grandmother, who was my best friend while she was alive. And I named my son Dalton after their family surname “Dalton”. I was so excited to receive his life history because he is famous for being a bit of a character, so I couldn’t wait to read the stories of his childhood and his adventures in life. From the moment I received it I couldn’t put it down. I was hooked!
There is something really special about being able to read the life histories and journals of your ancestors and relatives. Their life experiences carry a special weight and influence in your life that are more meaningful then reading about the lives of strangers. As I read his history today it really made me realize the importance of each of us writing down our own life experiences to put into a life history for our own posterity. All of the experiences we go through in life that helped shape us into who we are should be written down so they can be shared one day with our children and grandchildren and so on.
I can tell you that reading my Great Uncle’s stories today has already impacted my life for the better and I can’t wait to finish it. I am grateful that he took the time to pass on the lessons he learned and that he shared the mistakes he made that taught him to be a better man. I am so proud to have him as my relative.
In the back of his history there are some poems he has written and there was one in particular that struck me tonight that I wanted to share with all of you. He wrote this poem about his father and mother, who were my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother Dalton:
I’ve watched my Dad from day to day
I’ve watched his life fade way.
I’ve watched my Mother all this time.
Watching over him so soft and kind.
I’ve watched my family come and go.
I’ve seen them cry, I’ve seen their joy.
Each time they left, they felt it might be
The last time they’d see their Dad
Who they loved so tenderly.
For almost 60 years they have been a pair,
Watched over a large family with tender care.
Although their lives were harsh, and sometimes sad
There were many more good times than there were bad.
And though the life of roses wasn’t always there.
Not once was our cupboard ever bare.
The debt we owe, we can’t repay.
But we know we’ll be a family again one day.
God gave us parents choice and dear.
Parents who read to us, and lent an ear.
The only way we can hope to repay
Is to live our lives the very same way.
What an awesome message! I hope that I will be able to repay my own parents and Grandparents and Great Grandparents for all the sacrifices they made that impacted my life for the better by living my life with the same character and integrity and grace that they did.
Make sure you are writing your own story down as you live your lives so you can share it with your posterity one day too. Have a great day everyone!