I have several short and long-term goals I am working on. I listed some as resolutions in my post https://lingeringvisions.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/2013-here-i-come/
But rather than focus on that whole list here I chose one item.
Harpers Ferry is about an hour from me in West Virginia. There is a lot of history there and as it turns out my family was a big part of that. My maiden name is an unusual name. It’s Irish but it’s nothing simple like McDonald or McGillicuddy. It’s hard to pronounce and I spent my whole life wincing at its mispronunciation. Since it is such an unusual name kids in school would make fun of it and make up all sorts of alternative names that annoyed me more than anything.
I was married at 17 to a man named Clements and I often joked that the reason I married him was because his name was so easy to pronounce.
These days I have a niece and a nephew who feel my pain. My brother’s children, now teenagers have grown up with that name and lived the aggravation as 99% of the receptionists, telemarketers, and their peers butcher our family name.
My father mentioned our ancestral connection to Harpers Ferry on more than one occasion but I hate to admit it, I largely ignored him.
We even went there as a family once shortly before I married that Clements man but I barely remember any mention the history of our descendants.
One of my older cousins on my dad’s side has studied our genealogy. He used to send us emails years ago when he began his research. I am sure I must have read them but I didn’t retain any information. All of that changed several months ago when this cousin (a lone holdout) finally joined facebook. In our cousin group there he shared with us a letter from a woman sent to my father in 1976 detailing some of our history in Harpers Ferry. If I had to guess I would say this is close to the time we took the family trip.
My father passed away last February (my God, it’s been almost a year, wow). Since then my interest in this letter and Harpers Ferry has gotten more intense. I feel a little guilty about that. Imagine all the conversations we could have had. Ahh well, no regrets.
My cousin Janet and I went to Harpers Ferry in November with every intention of learning a little more about our connection. We went to the park ranger’s office and told him what we were looking for and when he found out our name he treated us like celebrities. It was an awesome experience and I want to give that to my niece and nephew.
My goal before the end of 2013 is to meet my brother and his family and to be with them when they experience the same feeling of importance and pride in our family name that I shared with my cousin in November. They might not get it as I didn’t when I was their age but I am going to do everything in my power to at least spark an interest so that they may pay attention for the
4530 minutes it will take.
For more posts to this challenge click: http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/sunday-post-goals/