My Great Grandpa Smith, my grandmother's father, died when I was very young, so I know very little. However, pictures show a man with a sense of humor, and a man with enough innovation to allow his oldest daughter, Ruby, (my Gram!), to work in the fields some, which I believe was rather unusual!
My Great Grammie Smith lived long enough for me to remember walking to her house or being pulled in a sled there, and playing with a bucket of items while my mom visited with her.
What I have pondered is- What was special? What did they do, how did they parent, how did they live, what kind of example did they set to yield such great rewards in their children and grandchildren?
I believe that my Gram's own words, from 73 years ago, answer some of this for me:
[Set the scene in your mind of Thanksgiving 1944. June of 1944 had brought D-Day. It was an uncertain time for sure. My grandmother was 26 years old and had joined the WAVES.]
"One year ago today we assembled around the old family table to partake of the Harvest Feast which was a symbol of the heavenly blessing for the year. Now we are engaged in a task which has separated us and made it our lot to render thanks alone; and, only in spirit are we with the family circle.
It is a wonderful security to know that back home loved ones are thinking of us and praying for our care and safety. For our successes and advancements we do not completely take the credit. Rather Mother and Dad during the years of toil, care, and guidance have had a big part in molding the personality and building the character which has gone out to face a world filled with hatred, fear, and revenge. We must continue on, and we thank God for the foundation you, Mother and Dad, have laid.
So let us not be weary in well doing. By keeping the faith, in due time, may God see fit to bring us together once more where we can share joyfully or tearfully the accomplishments of the past, the fellowship of the present, and the possibilities of the future.
Thus may this Thanksgiving be remembered as a day for thanking our Lord that the family can stretch beyond the door-step, and the love found there can endure in spite of changes, time, and distance. Thank God, my home is just as complete in love, devotion, and sincerity as it was a year ago; only it is much more glorified in that it has proved these attributes to each of us individually.
May we each realize this bond which holds us together, may we seek to drink its fullness, and no matter what comes to us, life will not lose its savor nor the family its lifegiving love."