My maternal grandmother lived with us when I was growing up. Her life story was fascinating to me then, and I often asked her to tell me what little she knew about her parents and her early years. Sometimes, if I caught her in the right mood, I could coax out of her the most vivid details from her past. She was born in Puerto Rico with a twin sister. Her mother died in childbirth, but there was a much older sister who took care of them while their father worked. Eventually, he and his three daughters took a ship from Puerto Rico to Maui where he planned to work the pineapple plantations. Apparently there was quite a lot of work there and masses of people migrated from Puerto Rico to Maui for several years in the early 1900s. There are passenger records that I've found that confirm his passage around 1905, but there are no records of my grandmother or her sisters. In 1910, there is a census record showing that both my grandmother and her twin sister were residents in a Salvatoin Army orphange in Maui. My grandmother said that after they moved to Maui, her older sister died, and their father was forced to take the twin girls to a local orphanage because he had no way to care for them during the long working season. Both girls lived there until they were in their late teens.
Since starting this new family history hobby (which sometimes feels more like a compulsion for me) I've had such a hard time finding any information about my grandmother's parents. I have tried on many occasions to remember their names because I know she mentioned them, but each time they've eluded me. Finally last month, when I found the Puerto Rico to Maui ship's record and passenger list, I found a listing for a "C Bruno," and I knew that was my grandmother's father. A little more digging led to a marriage record between C Bruno and a woman named "Tamashia" in the late 1890s. That name didn't sound familiar and it didn't feel quite right when I added it to Family Search, but it was the closest thing I had to a name for her, so I printed it out and took it to the temple last week when we did baptisms as a family.
And then today, while I was sitting in the temple, thinking about my mom and my grandmother and all of the other people whose work we've been so diligently focused on lately, I heard in my head the tiniest little whisper, "Thomasia." And with it came all the familiarity that I needed to confirm that that was my great grandmother's name.
I have a testimony of the miracles of family history and the blessings that come when we are actively engaged in the eternal welfare of those who came before us. I know that through the Holy Ghost, anything and everything can be brought to our remembrance. We have a loving Heavenly Father who knows the intentions of our hearts and will give us the things we need to most help us prepare for His work. Family history is His work.
I am so grateful to have been in the temple today and to have received that one tiny whisper along with a few others that I needed. Heavenly Father is absolutely in the details of our lives.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
McKay and I went to our monthly Cub Scout pack meeting/bike rodeo last night. Can you see by the look on his face that he's not super excited about being there? It's funny to watch these kids of mine as they become old enough to move into new programs and organizations. At first, they are filled with excitement and enthusiasm, but as they approach the next transition, they get antsy and move on in their little heads before they've officially moved on in age. McKay will be 11 next month and will cross over into the Boy Scout program. He's completed all of the Webelos requirements and earned his Arrow of Light. And enduring additional Cub Scout activities is a bit agonizing. I looked at this picture this morning, though, and realized that he's pretty ready for that next stage. His Cub Scout shirt is filled with achievements (that his mother finally sewed on permanently last night...) He's outgrown the younger boys that are still excited about new Cub experiences. And apparently he's outgrown that bike a little bit, too. We're both very excited for the next stage of scouting, but we have loved this time in Cubs. (I'm not-so-secretly hoping that I'll also get to transition out of Cub Scouts when McKay leaves...)
The scouting program does amazing things for confidence levels in little boys. They get to build rockets, and hike, and work as teams, and discover things , and shoot stuff. And they earn badges for all of that fun! It's really an awesome thing to be a part of, and I'm so grateful to all of the leaders who make events like this one possible...in the middle of the summer, with less than stellar attendance. I'm grateful that McKay has been able to earn all those badges and beads in the last 3 years and that he can look at that shirt and be proud of his accomplishments.
Boy Scouts, here we come! (well, not WE! I'm definitely NOT going to Boy Scouts with him!)