Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Joseph McKay and Martha Blair...

... and their progenitors and their posterity

that is the title of a book my mom has had on her bookshelf as long as i can remember. it is hard covered, and fairly large. five generations after joseph and martha you will find my mother, on page 155 of the book. (assuming you accept her name as julia, not julie) it is apparent that the book was published before my mother's two youngest brothers were born, as their names are hand written in, on makeshift lines. many of the names of the people in this book are familiar to me. each memorial day is spent carefully trodding about the malad cemetery to deliver flowers to these ancestors, 6 generations back. some of them go to the old limestone pillars, with words obscured by lichens. we take grandpa's word that they are the proper grave markers. i imagine myself one day, carrying on the tradition of remembering these ancestors at least one day a year, with a token bunch of flowers. my mind is already drawing a map of the locations of the graves. maybe this year, i will pay closer attention to where grandpa puts them. maybe i'll draw a real map. i remember the family in the garland cemetery, too. after that, my mind is drawn to the faraway new mexico cemetery where my sweet grandma genevieve and her family is buried. i need to make a map of those, too. maybe i should include it with the handwritten will i have made (utah requires either a professionally-made or hand-written will. lawyers are expensive, so handwritten it is) maybe i should include sweet lile genevieve. and the burial place of my grandma talia, half a world away in the land down under. it's weird for me to remember that this blog is almost 5 years old. i know it's not old as far as blogs go. i know i will win no awards for content or length, but 5 years. that's an amazing amount of time for me to dedicate to something. i have been through 4 jobs since i started this blog. i have started and stopped school twice, and started a third time. i have bought two (p.o.s.) cars, i have seen three new children born to my sister. i have gotten two new dogs and kept my same old dog. i have been to nauvoo and to hawaii and to vegas and to florida and to new mexico and to arizona and to idaho and to california, to australia, and new jersey, and many more places in between. i can't remember them all right now. i have been to antelope island, on the great salt lake. who knew that lake was so big?? i have seen the beast known as cancer. i have felt heartbreak and sadness and anguish and longing and emptiness. i have felt joy and happiness and elation and excitement and contentment and relief and gratitude and appreciation and humility. 5 years is a long time. if you would have asked me where i would be in 5 years, right here is not where i would have said. still unmarried and childless, fielding offers from my dad to set me up with eligible bachelors in tonga, is not where i would have imagined myself. i truly had no idea back then. i thought i had lived life. i thought i had experienced so much. that's kinda the story of my life. right now, i feel like i have lived life and experienced so much. i guess in another 5 years i'll look back again and think "i was so clueless" i guess that's a good thing. it is progress. two things i have tried hard to improve (let's be honest, i'm still trying hard) are my gratitude and my empathy. i am definitely still a work in progress, but maybe in another 5 years i will be able to move to some different goals.

my mind is wandering. i can't really remember what the point of this post was. maybe i'm waxing nostalgic in my old age (today, i am officially 26, you know. i actually am not sure i can call it today anymore. i guess for 20 or so more minutes) i think the point i was trying to make is just that my life has been incredibly blessed, both by the family i know here and now and the family that i only know from heaven.  i am ridiculously grateful for them today, my heart feels ready to burst, and i love that feeling. i owe a lot to joseph mckay and martha blair, and the countless others that came before.