Thanksgiving 2006. . .
This year for Thanksgiving I decided to do things a little differently. As I get older, I am more conscious of our limited time on this earth. That started about 10 years ago when I began to do genealogy, tracing our family roots. It quickly became apparent to me that so much history had already been lost to us.
There are things we will never know about when Michel Hahn came to the US, not even the exact date. Or what prompted the move from Maryland to Ohio to Missouri by the family. Those stories are gone, lost in the layers of history.
I’ve thought about this for a long time, and then realized it was just as bad that our own family history would be lost as well. I remembered some family stories, but many would be forgotten, so I decided to write as many down as possible, so that some day when my grandsons and maybe their kids wanted to know about their great grandpa K and or great-great grandma C they would have those stories, some of them anyway.
This journal is all about that, telling those stories; stories of my life and the family that surrounds me, to preserve those memories.
So this year as we celebrated Thanksgiving together, I did something different. I purchased a white linen table cloth and some permanent sharpie markers. Each year, we will use a different color and will write a message or just sign it if that is what you want. Thanksgiving 2006 we used a blue marker to sign.
For the 4 little guys, we traced their hands and they wrote their names, except for the littlest little guy who at two, can’t yet write his name. Each year, in a different color we will trace their hands, so we can watch them grow. In a year of two they may want to add their own holiday wishes.
I want this tablecloth to be a tangible piece of our family history, that someday, when my daughter looks at it, it will be dear to her, to see messages from her grandparents and her mother, who won’t be here on this earth any longer. I hope it will comfort her and the boys and their families.
That what families do you know, we perpetuate not only the blood lines of the family, but the history and the stories. I hope that table cloth will survive many Thanksgivings and that 50 years from now, as they are looking at the first and second and third cloths that have been done, that they will recount the family stories and remember those who are no longer here on this earth.