Living Today, Tomorrow’s History Of The Boston Marathon

Photo Credit: dailybail.com

Photo Credit: dailybail.com

Today we were witnesses of a horrible attack on the innocent bystanders of the Boston Marathon. As I’m typing this they are still working frantically to help the victims, search for clues and hopefully find those responsible. No doubt we will all remember this day. We’ll remember where we were when we found out. If we had loved ones or friends in Boston today, we’ll never forget waiting to hear whether or not they were hurt. It is a sad day.

Eyewitnesses are being interviewed non-stop by every media outlet in Boston. They provide important clues about this tragedy in a way no one else can because they saw things from their vantage point maybe no one else did. It is hard to listen, but we’re riveted. We keep watching, praying and hoping the world isn’t as bad as it seems. But it is.

Tragedies define us as a nation and as individuals. We become a product of the events we’ve experienced and for the rest of our lives we’ll reflect back on what our eyes have seen.

This provides us an important question to ask your elder family members:

Question #16 – What national tragedies have you lived through and what ones, if any have you witnessed yourself? Where were you at the time, and how did it affect your worldview?

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This is post #16 in the challenge to post everyday in April.

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Now That’s A Great Question

Photo Credit: Neodesha Chamber of Commerce

Photo Credit: Neodesha Chamber of Commerce

I am privileged to be taking part in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday during the month of April. I must admit I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with the thought, but I’m compelled to do it. I pray you will find my posts helpful as you take the time to discover your family’s story and hear a bit more about mine.

My goal is to provide a great question each day that you can use to ask your older family members, be it a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle. You can choose who to ask, hopefully it will be someone who has an interesting answer. Then, come back and share what you’ve discovered with us. It should be a fun and rewarding month as we purpose to uncover stories that may have never before been told.

Question #1

Where were you born, and what is your earliest memory?

oklahoma-landrush-1893My grandmother, Grace Stella Kirwin, was born in Neodesha, Kansas (pronounced Nee-oh’-deh-shay), located in the southeastern corner of the state, on March 2, 1889. Unfortunately, I can’t ask her what her earliest memory was, but I do know that when she was only 4 years old, her Uncle Charley took part in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893. He had a race horse named, Pigeon. I wish I knew why in the world he named his horse that–but one can only speculate. Not only was Pigeon a good horse, he was fast. Uncle Charley staked two claims of land for the family.

At precisely twelve noon on September 16, 1893 a cannon’s boom unleashed the largest land rush America ever saw. Carried by all kinds of transportation – horses, wagons, trains, bicycles or on foot – an estimated 100,000 raced to claim plots of land in an area of land in northern Oklahoma Territory known as the Cherokee Strip. There had been a number of previous land rushes in the Territory – but this was the big one. (Source: eyewitness to history website)

The claims ended up being in what is now called Noble County, Oklahoma. My Mom and I had the chance to visit the little town of Ceres, where we think the homestead was located.  It looks like their land is now owned by the power company and is underwater of a man-made lake.

So, what have you discovered about your relatives earliest memories? Won’t you join the conversation? 

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are and where we came from.”

                                                                                                                   – Alex Haley
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We are taking part in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post every day in April.
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I Promise…

Promoting a book can feel a lot like campaigning for political office. You have to talk about why you did what you did, why you want others to listen to you tell about it and hopefully, get your listeners to buy your product. It is awkward at times as self-promotion should be! Politicians, if they’re honest and have integrity, don’t want you to vote for them because you like them, they want you to vote for them because they truly believe their plan will be best for the office they’re seeking.

In the same way, I want people to buy my book not so the numbers will grow and I’ll be more popular. No, I want you to read my book because I believe my grandmother’s story is worth knowing. She was an amazing woman, and her life offers lessons for us all. If you’ve already purchased a copy of Through The Eyes Of Grace and read it, I want to say a huge Thank You!  Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am. Would you do a couple of things for me? First, tell your friends and family about it and share it on your Facebook page and/or Twitter account? Second, would you consider writing a review on Amazon for me? Reviews help other readers who know nothing of me or my book decide whether or not it is something they are interested in reading.

I’m grateful we no longer have to listen to the constant campaigning of the politicians promising us things they may or may not be able to accomplish. I pray my posts never feel like an empty campaign promise. Thanks for stopping by.

Officially Yours

It has been mine for the past 25 years. Ten  years ago I began the process of making it yours, and in the Fall of 2012 it will be official – officially yours that is.

I have prayed, cried, and labored over this project. I have gone from being a novice writer to a full-time writer of a blog, our neighborhood newsletter, and my own journals. The project of which I speak is my first novel titled, Through The Eyes Of Grace, and is based on the life of my grandmother. The story takes place in Oklahoma just after the turn of the 20th century. Oklahoma was called Indian Territory then, and is still home to hundreds of Native Americans today. I didn’t know her story until after she died when I was 19. I was her youngest grandchild, and how I wished I could have heard these stories from her first-hand. What lessons I could have learned from her, but at 19 I was too young to appreciate the value of asking good questions.

My Mom was her youngest daughter. Of my grandmother’s six children she outlived all of them except for her. My hope is that her story will compel you to ask good questions of your own parents and/or grandparents. My Mom says that every time someone dies a library of information is buried with them. Sadly, this is true. Unless we ask and remember their stories will be gone in one or two generations. What a gift to know those stories and pass them onto your children and grandchildren.

I’ve provided at the back of the book a list of great questions to help you get started in discovering your own family history. We all have a story, but we may not know all the details. My prayer is that you will not only enjoy reading my book, but that you will find yourself drawn to talk to loved ones about it.

Through The Eyes Of Grace is my gift to you.

If you are interested in reserving a copy of my book, simply sign up to receive my blog posts by e-mail (see right column). This will guarantee you’ll be one of the firsts to hear of it’s release. 

Blessings to you and yours,

Debi