Monthly Archives: May 2016

A life remembered!! Msg. Timothy Bodden

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1st Sense Photography

BoddenTR01c

Today I had a friend pass at an early age, I learned this when I logged onto Facebook this morning. As I will never forget my friend, I decided to write something today, and let the words of others be my voice today. When I was growing up my dad would talk about his friend “Bodden”. This was the only name I knew him by until a few years ago. Msg. Timothy Bodden went missing in Vietnam. He was well liked, and had a daughter. I never knew him myself but thought I would write about this man, and his courage to defend others, when no one else would. He served proudly, and gave his life for that purpose, and left this world to soon. So without further ado, I present to you written in the words of others, the day America lost a soldier and a friend!.

BODDEN, TIMOTHY…

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The Singer

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This a a repeat of a post titled the Godmother from March of 2015.  For today’s post I gave it a new title The Singer.  I wrote about my cousin and Godmother, Pat.  It still holds true today.  I was going to try and insert a clip of her singing, but for that I would have to upgrade my plan here on WordPress.  Sorry, that’s not going to happen today.  But while updating this post, I am listening to her sing.  When I hear her voice, I get tears in my eyes, because I miss her so.  Here is my original post.

March is Women’s History Month and a time for honoring our female ancestors.  Today I am not honoring an ancestor but someone who played an important role in my life, my Godmother, Pat.  Pat was my mother’s 1st cousin, and my 1st cousin once removed.  When I was born Pat was 14 years old and lived in Chicago with her divorced mother (my grandmother’s sister) Frances, better known to me as Aunt Fran.  We lived in a suburb of Chicago, Villa Park.  Almost every weekend Pat and Aunt Fran would come out to my grandmother’s house and spend the weekend.  I looked forward to their visits.  They always brought me some little trinket.  Pat had long hair and she would let me brush it and play beauty shop.  Pat was my idol.  She would tell me stories, sing to me, take walks with me, play games with me, and just talk with me.  In other words she paid a lot of attention to me.  She took me places too.  She would take me shopping in downtown Chicago, we would eat in nice restaurants, and she would take me to the movies.  I would spend a week during my summer vacation staying in Chicago with Pat and Aunt Fran.  One time Pat took me to Riverview (an amusement park in Chicago) with her boyfriend.  She didn’t like roller coasters, but her boyfriend did, and he took me on all the roller coasters several times.  Pat and Aunt Fran were good at organizing and holding birthday and Halloween parties.  They would buy all the decorations come out to my house, decorate, and organize the party.  The other kids loved my parties because Pat and Aunt Fran made them so much fun.

Pat had a beautiful voice and sang opera.  She would practice every morning when I was staying with her.  We would not go anywhere until she did her practicing.  She earned a B.A from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.  Her non-professional experience included the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church and M. B. Sachs Amateur Hour in which she won first prize.  Her professional experience included the American Opera Company in Chicago, Board of Education Radio Station, New York City Opera, American Red Cross (Great Lakes Naval Hospital), Muni Opera in St. Louis, Pan American Council in Chicago, Decca Records – Forgive and Forget record.  She won an award at the  Chicagoland Music Festival Contest 1952 sponsored by the Chicago Tribune.  I know that Pat had won a bicycle and it was given to me.  May be it was the Chicago Tribune contest because that would have been about the time that I got the bicycle.  Pat was also fluent in several languages.  She married a man from Columbia South America and they had a daughter.    I remember one Christmas Eve she sang I’ll be home for Christmas and my father played the Organ.  No rehearsal for either of them and it was beautiful.  It brought tears to everyone’s eyes.  I wish that we had a recording of that.  Years later I asked her to sing for my husband as he had never heard her sing.  She said, “Oh, I can’t anymore, it takes practice and I haven’t kept it up.”  After my mother passed away in 1987, Pat became my go to person when I needed to talk to someone.  Pat was my Godmother, and I was her daughter’s Godmother, and her daughter is my oldest sons Godmother. Pat passed in April 2014 at age 81. For Pat’s memorial service her daughter made a CD of her mother’s singing.  She recently made a copy for us.  It’s scratchy because the recordings are old, but it is nice to be able to still hear her voice again.  She was a big part of my life, I loved her very much and she lives on in my heart.

Daily Prompt: Sing

Generation after Generation

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When studying my ancestors, I think about their lives.  I think about the hardships they endured.  What I find was so common in past generations is early deaths, deaths of children or young adults.  When trying to piece together the family of a great-grandmother or a great-grandfather, I’ll find children who died. I find that so sad and think about how the mother must have grieved for her child.  I’ll find young mothers who died in childbirth, young adults who died of influenza, pneumonia, or appendicitis.  Today these kinds of things are very curable.  In so many other ways we have it better than the generations before us.  We have the advantage of modern medicine.  We have the conveniences of dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, dryers, vacuum  cleaners, refrigerators, indoor plumbing.  We also have things that entertain us such as TV’s, radios, smart phones, computers, and the Internet.  Information is at our finger tips.  Want a book to read tonight? Download an e-book to your eReader.  Need to go to the store?  Hop in your car and your there in a few minutes, no matter time of day or night.   You don’t have to go back very far to remember when there was no Internet, cell phones, electronic games, microwaves, etc.

Socially we have become accustomed to women working outside the home, people living together and having children, abortions, mixed race couples and children, gay marriage, and now we are dealing with transgender bathrooms.  Generations ago no one ever thought about these things.   So it makes one wonder if we are better off today than generations ago.

Back when people didn’t have the conveniences and access to information at their fingertips, their lives seemed simpler in a lot of ways.  Men went to work, and women stayed home to take care of children and house.  Each had their role, and I think for the most part were satisfied.  At least it seemed that way in my family.  I think my mom and grandmother were content to stay home.  They did things to keep busy and save money that is lost today because working women just don’t have time to do it.  They sewed, baked, cooked from scratch, washed clothes in a wringer washing machine, hung them out to dry, and then had to iron them.  They cleaned the house made sure the children were fed, washed, loved, did their homework, and went to bed at a decent time.  They made sure we ate dinner together every night. When they went grocery shopping they didn’t always have a car so they walked and pulled a wagon for their groceries.  Milk and bread were delivered.  If you lived on a farm there was even more to be done.  Come fall they would start canning all the vegetables they grew during the summer months or the fruit from the fruit trees.  My grandmother would make crabapple and grape jelly from the grapes and crabapples in her own yard.  They gave us chores to do to.  It might be the kids that washed the dishes, cut the grass, took out the garbage, shoveled the snow, and whatever else they could find for us to do.   Sunday we went to church in the morning and later that day the whole family got together for a meal, and we just enjoyed each other’s company and talk about the week.  Saturday night might be a night that friends got together and played cards and talked while the kids played.

I think some of the things we have today are nice and I wouldn’t want to do without them.  I do however worry about family traditions.  Even in our small family as much as I try to keep some of them, it’s a losing battle, the younger generation seems like they just don’t value the same things.  We still have holiday dinners and even some Sunday dinners.  But everyone is in a hurry to finish and go back to watching football, baseball, or whatever the sport may be at the moment, or they are looking at their phones and messaging their friends, or on the computer, or playing a video game.  No one wants to sit and have a conversation or play a board game where we can all be together.  I think there will come a time when they will regret it.  These distractions were not around when my parents were here so I actually spent time with them.   I miss them, and I would give anything to have one more conversation with them.

I picture in years to come that there will be no one around to be the one to carry on family traditions and dinners.  Everyone will eat whenever and whatever they want.  They will spend all their time online, texting who knows who, and not know their own family members.  Hope I am wrong!  Only time will tell.

Daily Prompt: Generation

Copyright © 2016 Gail Grunst