Monday, December 20, 2010

They're Just People

I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but I have to share my adventures tonight into the world of the Loops family. I had mentioned my Uncle Frank's passing a few months ago, the end of his generation of Loops, and the rememberall of our family. He was also the youngest son of Charles I and Eva Webb Loops, and lived near his sister Georgebell who'd passed 15yrs prior. Which means, he had all her "stuff".

Today arrived all of their combined "stuff".

As the Historian of the family, as my father described it, it just made sense to send everything to me. Everyone else would enjoy a few moments of nostalgia and awe (and confusion and great overwhelmed feelings), and then it'd go into the closet.

I feel overwhelmed with the 30lbs of "stuff" that arrived at my house tonight, but I also feel very honored. Eva Bell Webb Loops, my gGrandmother saved; her daughter Georgebelle saved that and continued on with her own genealogy research and more. It is evident in these boxes that I now hold 100+years of pictures, bibles, letters, research, history.... that is our Loops family, and also our Webb family.

I get to keep this! And I will. I will scan and digitize; save and save and save. I need more fire-proof boxes, but I will get them. I will put in special folders and files and help document the mix-matched findings that are stored in these two boxes. And I will help create something that can be passed on further. (oh, my dear son, I wonder if you'll even want it... you will have little choice, you know? it's you or your uncles).

I haven't digested fully yet what is included in these boxes. I will have much more to say as I dig deeper. Tonight was simply a 3hr look over everything, and then back in your box you go.

But it's overwhelming. So long to research a family and to now have faces to that family. Here you are, George B. Webb, in photo. Photo after photo, there you are. You were as alive as I am today, with emotions and love of your children and interest in your wife and political ambitions or whatever... you were alive. You are not simply a date in a book... you were a man.

Love letters from Charles E. Loops "the first", to Eva, 1901-1903, when they were both young and separated, yet in love and soon to be married. They were both beautiful - I know this now... I have pictures. And their handwriting is beautiful and learned. They were young people in love, and to read the letters between them is beautiful and heart-warming, and confirming that.... they were people. Just... people. Alive and in love, as much I have had romantic feelings in my life.

I think sometimes I get caught up in the names and dates. I try to remember the stories, the realities that are our ancestors, that they lived and breathed just the same. But to finally see pictures of their then fashion and hair-styles, read their style of writing, to really see what their day was focused on.... it becomes real. I don't know how I can do this with people hundred's of years back, aside from watching movies that place me in that time, but for now.... at least I have a visual face on my ggGrandparents. It's amazing.

SO MUCH more to share as I digest.

For now, I'm in awe.