Friday, October 24, 2014

My Mother, a Genealogist's Inspiration

Nan Yvonne Pinkston, 1964

My family, about 1965

I recently awoke, feeling sluggish from too much to do the previous day. You know, the kind of day where you find yourself almost literally spinning in circles, as you try to balance the needs of spouse, children, health, and feeding finances, mind, and body.

As I sat on my couch, trying to get going, and heat-release my glued-shut eyes, a song from "The Sound of Music" came into my head: "I have confidence." When the song played to the refrain "Wake up!” I was able to wake up enough to get myself to work, and be on time.

My mother loved "The Sound of Music" so much, and watched it so frequently, that I avoided viewing the movie for literally decades after I grew up enough to move away. I recently saw this classic show with my children, and we all enjoyed it.

Now the genealogical question: What does this have to do with Matt's family history?
Like Maria, my mother was orphaned, first by her father who became an alcoholic, and then by her mother, who lived a fast and furiously addicted lifestyle in order to relieve the pain caused by her health problems, not having the strength of heart, mind or spirit to stand up for herself. Mom’s divorced LDS grandmother, a strict, lonely woman of principle, showed my mother a lifestyle with morals, light and integrity, and gave her the opportunity to live that way.

But it was my mother who chose to live the more positive lifestyle, dealing with the severity along with the good, over the carousing and casual marriages of her mother.
As a result, my mother raised 4 children in 2 marriages, with at least a good idea of what was right, and what wasn't. She, too, was horribly lonely, and suffered because she was not raised in an environment where she could rely on much of a support system for good, and so didn’t understand well how to reach out to people she could trust. But she made the most necessary sacrifices for her 4 children to get them to adulthood, 2 from each husband, and now has 15 grandchildren, and is getting great-grandchildren. She did live long enough to see her firstborn son Matt marry, the last of her children to do so, and then passed at the rather young age of 56.

She has made a huge difference to me, and I'm very grateful.
What do your parents and grandparents mean to you? That’s the kind of question I like to answer.

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