Archive for the ‘Memorial’ Category

A broken heart

The death of Debbie Reynolds the day after the unexpected death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher has been blamed on a broken heart but there are those who question if something like this is even possible. It is possible especially if you are older and not in the best of health. What we feel—pain—it is very real. It can outweigh physical pain easily and in itself cause physical harm. Our bodies can only take so much trauma before it kicks back.


My 4th great grandmother on my mom’s side died this way. It was recorded in a journal kept by a farmer in the community that both she and her husband had been sick—most likely influenza. The family story that has been handed down through the years is that he passed away first and as she lay with him, she wished to die and did so on Christmas Eve just after the US Civil War. They were buried together in a single grave—very fitting from what I understand as a testament of their love for each other.


This interview done last year was one of the best in my opinion for Carrie Fisher and Gary–I love Gary too. Both actresses will be missed.



A broken heart is very real. Be good to yourself and Happy Gardening! 🙂

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If you didn’t see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you really need to watch his intro…(link)

This says it all in a nutshell.


Have a great Friday…hug those you love…smile at those you don’t know…wave at those who may be having a bad day…but do something to brighten someone’s day! 🙂


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Dogs are remarkable

My first dog will always remain special in my memories of her. She was part hound and part birddog. Her mother stopped in our yard to have her pups and I wanted to keep one of the pups. My dad finally gave in and she was a welcome addition to the family. She was my dog. I loved her. I was about 5-7 when she came to live with us. We had other dogs—all were left with us in the same fashion where someone dropped them off because they were unwanted. I have many stories I could tell about her but she died such a terrible death. She got her leg hung in a wire fence and she was there for days and got blood poisoning. We took her to the vet…I remember when it happened but she was too far gone. She was my baby. 😥


Dogs are special creatures. They can be trained for many different jobs. Jobs like those used for guiding blind people, or health companions—some can detect the onset of seizures before they happen—and there are those who are trained to detect cancer cells in urine samples. Yes, believe it or not there is a 97-98% accuracy. Hey, I remember when pregnancy tests were not that reliable. Here is the story I read (link).


Science is remarkable. We are still learning and there is much we do not know.


Thought I would share in case you haven’t heard about this. 🙂

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Today marks 150 years since the signing of the surrender by Robert E Lee at the Appomattox Court House. The Atlantic publication published an article about it (as have many media outlets). They mentioned that the war and cease fire has not really gotten very far because in many eyes, it is still being fought. I can attest to that.


I have been commenting in a certain media forum where people are still fighting for “states’ rights.” There were comments yesterday that it was all Lincoln’s fault…I kid you not. I don’t understand. If people had their way, I would be living in a separate country that condoned slavery as a right guaranteed under the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. (excuse me a minute—I need to barf 😐 ) If you have never read this document that actually says the following, I encourage you read it—all of it.


We, the people of the Confederate States, each state acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God — do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America. (link)


It is not pretty. You have to remember that there were black people who were free but many whites did not recognize their freedom. I can go on and on about what I have learned over the years and I am ashamed at our country and I am ashamed of people today. From The Atlantic:


“It is easy to proclaim all souls equal in the sight of God,” wrote James Baldwin in 1956 as the Civil Rights Movement took hold in America; “it is hard to make men equal on earth in the sight of men.” Philosophically and theologically, claims of human equality are as old as the hills. But the real struggles for genuine equality of natural rights, of equality before law, and of equality of opportunity are much more recent in historical time. (link) 


Just because you claim something does not make it true in everyone’s eyes. In other words…you can lead a horse to water but if that horse doesn’t want to take a drink—it will die right there in front of all the water just because it refuses to do what it needs to do. People are not any wiser than a horse who refuses to drink.



My great-grandfather

My Georgia family owned the farm I grew up on and what is known as Millhaven Plantation is less than 5 miles down the road. I cannot confirm this happened exactly as I was told but this was the story I grew up with… General Sherman made a visit to Millhaven on his march to the sea. That’s how close the civil war came to my backyard—that’s a little close for comfort. The story goes that Sherman was a Mason and the owner of Millhaven was a Mason. It is said that was the reason the plantation house was not burned but crops were stolen as were livestock and after the troops took what they wanted/needed, they destroyed part and ran off the rest of the livestock before heading to Savannah. I think the outbuildings were all destroyed but I can’t say for sure.


Being from the south, I have memories that have been relayed to me from people who were born just after the civil war. There were hard times back then from what I was told but no more than usual really, at least for the white families except those who lost family in the war. My family was mostly self-sufficient on the farm. That helped them survive the Great Depression and I am sure that the same holds true for the civil war. My family wasn’t into owning slaves. The only record I can find for a slave was an older black woman and I don’t know that the record is accurate because my great grandfather is listed as a black man on one of the census records and he wasn’t black.


I don’t know why people want to continue living like it was before the civil war. I have studied local history for many years and it astounds me that people want to still fight about something that is over with. Like I said, my children get it…they understand. I love it that they do. We are only as strong as our weakest part or link. Why wouldn’t we want to excel—for everyone to be successful? It is a sad thing–people wanting to be in control of others. I wish we could all leave this behind and move forward. Acknowledging history and culture is one thing but waving it in someone’s face is another. Pride and arrogance do not have a place in today’s world. I don’t celebrate the civil war but I honor the freedom it brought. To me, there is no need to scream for states’ rights. It was not Lincoln’s fault. It was stupidity and greed that caused the civil war and it is that same stupidity and greed that is driving some of our laws today. We need to wake up. Discrimination needs to stop! Equality for all people is what we need to honor.


Happy Freedom Day! 🙂


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To own a person is wrong. I have a difficult time understanding the fact that some people believe it is right in the year 2015. Can you imagine being owned by another human being? Some will tell you the story about how good slaves really had it. These individuals believe that they need to dispel the myth that slaves were mistreated even though there are accounts in newspapers and letters and write-ups telling and detailing the mistreatment.


I was also warned last night that I should not believe the Yankee lies that are being told called the revisionist history about the civil war. Think conspiracy theories and you will get close to the person’s mindset. It’s awful how people think we are still living in the 1800s and the federal government is evil and it was only states’ rights that were being fought over… People have been sold a bill of goods and something stinks…


It gets worse. This person had ancestors who owned slaves. She was proud of it and said she would never apologize for it. Her pride was her gluttony and will lead to her downfall. How in the world do people function like this? This is why there is so much hatred for others. She wants to divide people and prove that they are inferior. She takes pride in all of this.


It is disgusting but this is the mindset of some of the people from the south. It isn’t my mindset. Clearly, slavery is wrong. I was taught that early on. As I grew, I learned of more atrocities and I also heard the stories of how well slaves were treated. Some were treated well but it doesn’t excuse the fact and it cannot make up for all of the people who were mistreated and killed, raped and taken advantage of…not to mention being sold and never seeing their family again. Saying something doesn’t make it true either. It doesn’t excuse the people in America for owning so many slaves. I know it was a sign of the times but still—it is not right!!! And, until we all learn this there will always be racism and prejudice. In other words, we will never be equal in everyone’s eyes until all people see others as equals.


Truth be told, many people who came to America were slaves and indentured servants. Some slaves were able to gain their freedom only to learn they were never truly free in the eyes of others. How awful! Can you imagine being treated in this way? I can. I have done research looking for slave descendants. It is very difficult and with most lines it is impossible. It isn’t fair and those people who take pride in their ancestors owning slaves—I wish they could see life from a slave’s perspective in the worst situations but they refuse to believe there was any mistreatment. They are close-minded. It makes me sick.


Now do you see why I fight for people to have equality? I will continue to do so and I will speak out against this type of oppression. It makes my heart hurt to know people look down on others and believe their race is superior. How dare they!!! Not one of us is better than another. No one!


Have a great day and plant seeds of goodness! 🙂

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Do you pray for your fellow humans that they will find peace and do you love them above yourself or do you chastise them and pray that God reaps heaps of burning embers on their very soul? Ask yourself what is the right thing to do? I am so very tired of us crying to God and saying we are the ones infringed on and that others are to blame when we are the ones who are to love all people—all nations­—no matter what.


Look at those who are without…those who are hungry and know not what safety means. What do you see? How do you feel? Look at those who are hurting. Do you wish that God will smite them for their transgressions? Or do you reach out your hand to help all people?


There are certain things in this world that I call rights and those are the right to be free…free to worship, free from abuse…free to be educated and not withheld for certain people…freedom for choices we make each and every day. With freedom comes responsibility—great responsibility. We cannot withhold our freedoms for ourselves alone. We must share in that.


Many people of this country—the US—want to deny the freedom of immigration, the very lifeblood for all of us who are not natives of this land. How dare we! How dare we withhold what is the very essence of life and goodness. I think some soul searching needs to be done and you need to look no further than the Statue of Liberty.

 Statue of Liberty

 “Statue of Liberty” by Rudy Norff (link) via flickr

[Terms of Use – Creative Commons (link) – no changes]



The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus (link)

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Do you know the meaning of every line? Do you think this was written only for those who had already passed through the entry points to the US or do you think we should welcome immigrants to this great nation?


You may choose to trash other people or trash the history of the United States but President Obama is not your enemy. He is not the anti-Christ. This great country is made up of people who should take pride in our Constitution and our founding fathers. Slavery was abolished but discrimination thrives today just as much as it did 100 years ago maybe even more so today.


Are there changes to make in your life? So many of the people that came to this country were descendants of unloved people—those who were discriminated against whether it was religious persecution, race, sex, whatever…even disabled. I encourage you to look at the bills before your state legislature and see which of them scream hatred for another. What can you do? Don’t sit by and become feeble. Live every day like it is a gift.


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Do you have a well-documented pedigree? Are you from high quality stock? Maybe you descend from kings or royalty… I think there are plenty of skeletons in our closets and if we knew how bad they were, maybe we would take a different approach to people. Maybe we would be more accepting but we pride ourselves of our prized pedigree building walls between those who we believe are of lesser importance when we should open our arms and welcome them.


I have spent years doing genealogy research—some on my family lines and much about others. I have learned a great deal about people in general and I have learned much more than a history book could ever teach. Some people seek pedigrees that others will marvel at. I remember back when I thought about joining the Daughters of the American Revolution…I have several ancestors who fought in the war that broke our chains from the mother country. I was doing it for my daughters’ benefit more than anything else. I wanted to leave some sort of ties to their legacy on my side of the family since there is no real family to help them when they get interested in my family’s part of history. I eventually declined the invitation in the end because I was living too much in the past and I wanted to live in the present and future. That sounds awful but here is a part of my past and why I cannot judge anyone due to race. 🙂


Much of my dad’s family was fairly easy to trace. His paternal line came out of North Carolina and the surnames are all related. Looking at historical records, it is believed that there was a single progenitor who settled here in North America but from where he came is of question. Many believe he came from England before 1700. Oh, again, I don’t know of any ancestors coming to America after 1800. There is more about this line but I won’t proceed right now.


Emotions get caught up in the tales for me because I like to experience and see through each person’s eyes and speaking of eyes…my eyes are bluish greenish with brown spots. My mom’s were darker blue with brown spots and my dad’s eyes were lighter blue—almost silver with brown spots. You would never know that I have Native American blood—actually from both parents. Weird to me. Most of my dad’s family line hails from the British Isles…Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England but there is one family who has been traced to Germany. The Hillis family—my dad’s maternal line and the line that owned the farm on which I grew up were from Ireland but before 1785. I really wish I could get them back across the sea but there are no records of detail that have been found in Ireland and to my knowledge they were not Catholic so I think I am out of luck.


As for my mom’s family…before they settled in Alabama, they mostly came from Virginia through Tennessee. Most were US Revolutionary soldiers or descendants so many of them have left a mark in the historical records such as land grants, etc. I had good times (and bad) locating family ties—connecting with long distance cousins and talking with people. My grandfather—let’s get him out of the way—his line is the most problematic. There is a DNA surname project that is ongoing but his line of DNA markers show his haplogrouping belongs to that of the Nordic tribes while most of the surnames are connected (not his) and they are not Nordic. That would be par for my grandfather. He also had French ancestry that has been hard to prove because I cannot establish who the woman’s father was due to missing records. I cannot establish the validity to the Native American ancestor in his line nor if it is true that there was also at least one African American but odds are good that both are part of my heritage. I laugh at this because my mother’s mom was really racist and she had absolutely no reason to be. Sad. Really sad.


My mom’s mother’s line is the one I know most about. She had a Native American ancestor so I have nothing but mixed blood all around…lol. This same line is where the Huguenots tie in. My maternal matriarch—as far back through the female line as I can go with any certainty—married a third generation Huguenot descendant. You want to talk about religious persecution…the family that came over in 1700 were trying to escape so that they could build new lives here. They were first uprooted out of France into other parts of Europe as they sought freedom but when the influx of refugees disturbed the status quo, they were sent to America–not totally of their own free will.


Four generations of my female line–Mom, me, my grandmother and my great-grandmother.



There is a lot I know about my mother’s maternal line and I have had to fight over it because I was told I didn’t descend from the very line I descend from—even though I had things passed down to me from the 1800s. In fact, the person who told me this made me caused me to dig that much harder to prove what I thought I knew but I filled in a lot of blanks and documented much of the information with historical records that were not in my possession. He even published a book with the wrong facts which he still makes money from. I was kind to him and tried to offer to share what I had not because I knew I was right but because I wanted to share (he had posted a note asking for help–if that doesn’t beat all) and his last response to me was that he felt sorry for me. Please. He was extremely disrespectful. I thought he wanted to know the truth. My mom would have loved to set him straight and she might have known him—I don’t know. He is probably distantly related. See…we don’t get to choose who we are related to.


There is a mindset that tells people they are right and they believe it even when the differing facts stare them in the face. In the case of the person who told me I didn’t belong, the proof was in my family’s cemetery lot–believe it or not. You see, my family always took care of one another. After a sister’s husband died and she was not able to care for herself, my ancestor took her sister in to care for her. The sisters in this generation were very close and remained close no matter how many miles apart.


It turned out that the sister who was taken in outlived the one who took care of her and she is buried in the family plot in Alabama. I had visited it many times but I didn’t know all of the story until several years ago. I was disowned by extended family and believed the guy who failed to do his research because of his title–he is a bigshot genealogist. Her grave and the historical records are there that show what is truth. Census data, pictures, etc. I cannot make him believe it is true–he holds onto another belief and he doesn’t accept me. Is that how we are to treat family? I don’t think so.


What does this say about who we are? Don’t hide behind someone. Don’t hide behind your beliefs. Reach out to those who need. Accept others with love in your heart.


May your gardens grow with great beauty and tenderness! 🙂


A variation of this post has been waiting since last year to be posted…I might catch up one day. 😀



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