Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grateful for Family, November 20, 2013

There is one day that is ours.
Thanksgiving Day is the one day
that is purely American.
~O. Henry

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this week before Thanksgiving. As I think back on the last year, and consider the family experiences that we have had, and the writing and research I have done, I find myself very thankful for particular family members of recent times and long ago. 

A Never Ending Miracle. I am grateful for the new babies among us, especially those born this year. First, born in San Diego in January, was Carsyn Slaughter, the daughter of Courtney Boyd and her boyfriend. Carsyn is one of the growing number of Great Great Grandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard. 

Kambree Kay Bowman, daughter of Mandi Aquiningoc and Steve Bowman, was born in June in Weatherford, Texas. She is a Great Great Great Granddaughter of both Leroy and Nola Gower and Will and Bura Shepard. 

The third baby born this past year in our larger family is Logan Joseph Shepard, who is a Great Great Grandson of both the aforementioned Gowers and Shepards. Logan, born this past July was born to Patrick and Nicole Haw Shepard of Bothell, Washington.

This first picture shows the newest members of our extended family, Carsyn, Kambree, and Logan. 

These babies remind us that this marvelous thing we call family is a never ending miracle, and will continue far longer than most of us will. They also are that needed reminder that family research is not just an old and dusty endeavor; it is as new and fresh as a baby's dreams. Thank God for the youngest ones among us!

Irish Ancestors. I am also grateful for Irish ancestors who sacrificed much so that we might live in this country. When we visited Ireland earlier this year and saw the land of many family members who came before us, it was a humbling experience. What we learned about how they lived there, and the difficulties of travelling across the Atlantic, was eye opening. Thank God for the numerous folks in our family tree who sought a better life in America.

Gratitude for Our Dearly Departed. I am also very thankful as I remember the lives of two family members we said goodbye to this year. Becky Davis of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, died in early March. She was one of my dad's first cousins who loved family history and lived a remarkable and courageous life. The second picture shows Becky as a young girl with her father Jesse Davis. 

My uncle Terry Boyd of Blue Springs, Missouri, died later in March. He and my aunt Thelma are the Great Great Grandparents of little Carsyn who was born in January. 

I am grateful to God for both of them. Just like the new babies mentioned above, they remind me that family is a never ending miracle. But it is also a fleeting thing that passes away sooner than we ever expected. Thanks be to God for memories of family and the joy that is ours.

- - -
Steve Shepard

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