I think I learned that as a child by going with my parents to visit aging friends and relatives. We did that often - at least weekly and sometimes more.
I found them so interesting. They had such vast experience, interesting stories and wise insights. What a wonderful resource and support they are. Even reading journals or stories and histories written by them helps me - if nothing else it helps me realize how much I have.
An ancestal journal records a family driven from their home by an angry mob in the wet cold of February, the mother expecting a baby and the father away. As mom lay laboring in a 'box' of a covered wagon, rain seeped through the cover. Her 12 year old son and slightly younger daughter dipped the pooling water from beneath her trying to help their mother. The baby did not live. The son buried the baby in the semi frozen ground and then the wagon moved on.
Their experiences of sorrow come to mind whenever complaints start in my thoughts.
I am so thankful to have such sons and daughters.
They help and comfort me.
I have so much comfort and convenience and safety.
I have excess of almost everything.
For just more than a year now, I have been helping digitize vital records so that people can find ancestors more readily. I have been able to work with many records in the 15 and 16 hundreds. One day as I worked on an ancient record from a small town I entered a man's death information. A short time later a marriage noted the bride was the daughter of the deceased [NAME] above. A page or two later I saw the death of an infant - the child of that couple and then a few entries later the death of the mother.
Sometimes I will see burial and death records that have one person in a family die and then a few days or weeks later another and then another die - not just children but parents and grandparents. It is apparent that an illness sickened the whole family and sometimes neighborhood.
My life and mobility have been spared many times by the care of an educated professional. I have recovered from illness by using the medicines science places readily at my disposal. I walk and am without constant pain because of the technology of our time.
Today I digitized (indexed) some marriage license records. Anyone can help index.
Some of the brides and grooms had been widowed.
No matter where they were born, or lived, or died their marriage 'dissolved' at the death of one of the partners.
I felt so sad for them.
I looked up our marriage certificate to see what it says.
|this image of our certificate is edited for privacy|
It is simple yet profound. It states that we are "joined together in the Holy Bonds of Matrimony for Time and for all Eternity". We have been married about half as long as my parents. They are also joined together for time and eternity. (So are my husband's deceased parents.)
Being married and staying married is a lot of work. The covenants and commitments require constant work, diligence and renewal. We made the decision to be married and we make the decision to stay married.
The wonder and blessing of such work and decisions is that when we die our marriage will not be dissolved. We will still be together. ALWAYS! Forever ...
A hymn of Thanksgiving comes to mind ... "Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below ..."
Today I think of thousands of things I am grateful to enjoy.
Each thing is a blessing from Father in Heaven.
I count them one by one ...
I am particularly grateful for an eternal marriage.
Most of the other things seem trifling.