Tag Archives: Wheaton College

Surprising Relatives~Part 2

26 Jan


 Judy Wills

Judy Wills


Some years ago, I became interested in genealogy.  I was so excited about it all, and I mentioned to Fred’s Dad that I would love to have their family history.  He rather turned me down flat with a “don’t you know that in five generations you have about a million people?!”  That went no where.  But later, I realized that I wanted something different.  So I approached him again about it, and he started in, again, with the “don’t you know….”  I stopped him and said, “No Dad, I want YOUR childhood memories…and Mom’s childhood memories.”  “Oh.”

And so, they both began writing their memoirs.  Dad would type his up, and e-mail them to me to make whatever typographical corrections that needed to be done.  Mom hand-wrote hers and sent them to me to transcribe.

After they finally said, “we’re finished,” I put them in book-form and made copies for all the family.

I had asked Fred’s parents about pictures of the family, and they both said there just weren’t any.  I was quite disappointed, until one day, on a visit to their home, I stumbled upon four picture albums!  I was so pleased!  I now had pictures that I could add at the appropriate spots to highlight the narration.  And so the scanning process began.  The whole project was a fun thing to do, and definitely a labor of love on my part.  Now all their children, grandchildren, great-grands and on down have not only memories of how these two lovely people grew up, but how life was, back in those days.  I only wish I had started this process when both of my parents were still alive.  I can only go by pictures and what little I gleaned from my Mother before her death.

In any case, during this time, we made a trip to Washington state to visit with Fred’s parents and both of his sisters.  It was just after Emily had told us about making the connection with Walt and Pauline Eby.  While spending a few days with Emily and Ron, they invited Walt and Pauline over to dinner, so we could share family stories.  I had taken the rough draft of Fred’s parent’s Memories book with me, and after dinner, I asked Walt to look through it.  Unbelievably, he had some of the originals of the pictures I had in the book!  Amazing!  He was so happy to read the stories, and know a bit more about this side of the family, and how they “related” to his parents and his Uncle Bob and Aunt Eleanor.

While it shouldn’t be, it’s always surprising to find relatives in the most unusual way.  And God has a way of bringing us together and making that family connection that is so very precious.

 Proverbs 3:6

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