personal history

 Sharing Family History and Stories

Therese’s Dad had died and she wanted to share a few thoughts about him at the end of his funeral. When she asked the priest’s permission, he said, “A good story has a beginning, a middle and an end! Do you think you can do that?”

Ask yourself the same question about important events in your family. Then write them down. Here are three examples: For an example about 3 generations click here. You might also share stories from much earlier generations by using a doll or an object that brings  you back to that time period.


Henry and the Dismembered Woman

In the middle of a June night in 1855, some of Henry  Silberhorn’s dock workers came pounding on his door. “Henry!  Henry!  You’ve got to come quick!” they urged him.” There’s a woman all cut up into pieces and shoved into boxes on a ship down at Pier Seven. You’ve got to come now!”

His heart and mind raced through all manner of tragedies as he scurried into his pants and out the front hall door.Grandpa’s worst imaginings took on an even grimmer tone as he followed them off into the night muttering, “What will I do?  Had the police been called?” He wondered how he would manage his own stomach in such a gruesome situation.  Who had done such a thing? He thought the horses would never get there. Well, when Henry Silberhorn got to the ship at Pier Seven, what he encountered was a woman of some renown who was indeed in several boxes, 214 of them to be exact. She was the Statue of Liberty!  What a joke!  He guffawed and giggled right along with his crew, till tears came to his eyes.  Read more about story sharing

lillie and carolyn

Gentle Woman

The last several times I visited Aunt Lillie, I would say, “Good Bye.” and she would say, “Good bye, Therese.” Then when I would see her again in a few months she would say, “I can’t understand why I’m not upstairs yet.” But today we have finally come to the last “Good Bye – Good Bye to a gentle woman, like Mary.” Good bye to a woman who had a gentle touch with a pie crust. Good bye to a woman who was gentle and thoughtful enough to send birthday cards, to write letters, and to buy little children outfits for their first day of school.Good bye to a woman gentle enough to bury her sister with her own brand new crystal beads because, as she said, “Nothing is too good for my sister after all she has done for me.” Read more about Lilly.

DSCF4111copyMy Perfect Day

What comes to mind is Christmas 2009. It was the first time in four years that all of our children and grandchildren were together. We built a snowman, ate fondue, had a baby Jesus parade, and just enjoyed each other’s company (all 12 of us). I roamed around all day taking pictures and movies of everybody. We also had lots of three generation game playing, like ‘Pen the Pig’ and races with Matchbox cars. It was nothing short of miraculous that everyone came despite a recent divorce, difficult finances, and very demanding work schedules. I must have thanked each one for coming at least a bazillion times. I posted a photo of the whole bunch on my facebook page, if anyone wants to take a peek at what God can do with one rag-tag family.

1. brickyard artifacts  Ever visited a Brickyard?

It was a life-long talent. Louie Boucher could set to howling like a dog or a wolf. He was so good at it that every canine within a half a mile would respond in kind. It was one of many talents that came with being born in a brickyard, like ciphering on his fingers and killing bugs without even looking their way.  For more of  the story click here.