Friday, November 1, 2013

Sometimes a House Is Just a House

The William Leslie and Eva Stephenson Thompson Provo home

I love to research my family's history. This research usually begins by finding a person's birth, marriage and death date. Finding these dates don't always come easily. But after they are found and typed into a database, they seem to blend into all of the others. 

To the casual observer these lives appear to have come and gone just like all the others. Most hopefully they have left behind some children and a few cherished possessions. These possessions often remind us of our loved ones and the time we spent with them.

A few weeks ago, our family held a shower for my niece celebrating the coming of her new baby. She sent a thank you note addressed to my mother. Mom showed me the envelope and asked me if I recognized the return address. I thought I did. Mom said she believed it might be the same address of the home once owned by my great grandparents, Leslie and Eva Thompson. 

After comparing my niece's address to this note sent to my parents, we discovered the addresses were the same. My niece was actually renting the same home my great grandparents had owned in Provo, Utah!

I visited my niece when she brought her new baby home from the hospital. I took a few pictures of the home's exterior then went inside. I decided that although the home looks the same and has remained as strong as it had been in 1950s, it wasn't quite the same.  I missed the love of my great grandmother I had felt when I used to visit.

The thought came strongly to me that objects including houses, although often more enduring, are insignificant compared to the whole picture of a life.  I now know I don't need something I can touch to remember love. It is the people who are the stars of the story. Lives here on earth are relatively short but so important.

I only had the opportunity of knowing my great grandmother Eva and never met my great grandfather Leslie, but I very much look forward to it some day. He wrote this poem about his perception of life.

The Beauty of Living

The flowers are blooming on the hillside fair
It gives me a thought as I look over there.
They smile in the sunshine that peek thru the trees
And wave their pretty heads in the cool gentle breeze.

The seasons change; they come and go.
Like the sun in the morning, it enters the sky,
And goes to its rest as the hours pass by.

Let's be like the flowers, greet the world with a smile
And feel the struggles in life, are really worth while.

Eva and Leslie Thompson, Provo, Utah  home
Ashlee and David Chamberlain, great, great grandchildren

Leslie and Eva Thompson, Provo home

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