Some posts for Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge come easy. I see the prompt and I know instantly the story I want to tell.
Other times, like Week 39: Should Be a Movie, I find myself stumped. I can’t think of any earth-shattering events that my ancestors were involved in. I’ve already written about the two family members who were killed in shootouts; it might be possible to dig up more stories about the people involved. It’s quite a “wild west” tale, even though it was in Georgia.
As I thought about it, though, any one of our lives could be a movie. It may not be a blockbuster action movie. We, and our ancestors, have all experienced ups and downs. I’ve had interesting times, won cash and a trip in sweepstakes, made a movie, been through major hurricanes (and could face another one in the next week or so), lost loved ones, and dreamed many dreams that will never come true.
The lives of my Mam-ma and Pap-pa during their first few years of marriage could be a movie. They experienced tragedy, when Mam-ma’s sister died unexpectedly during pregnancy. It changed the course of their lives, because that’s when Mam-ma decided to have a baby, who would turn out to be my mother. They worked hard and managed to save and build for the future.
Mam-ma’s grandfather, Isaac Pittman was born in the Florida Territory in 1841. He lived at a time when Florida was a wild and untamed place, where there were hostile natives, pirates plying the Gulf of Mexico, and no National Hurricane Center to tell you when a bad storm was coming.
Isaac later lived with his in-laws and worked as a teamster, like several others in the Thompson family. What adventures might they have had on the road driving stagecoaches or loads of valuable goods through Alabama after the Civil War?
The movie of our lives, or our ancestors, could be a slice of life film about hardship and happiness. It could be a comedy or a tragedy. Some families certainly have blockbuster stories in their histories. Others are indie films, short films, maybe a Netflix series.
The important thing to remember is that we all have stories to tell. Record yours while you can. Preserve the memories of your parents’ stories and your grandparents’. They may not ever be made into a movie, but they will be important to future family members who wonder what our lives were like in the “olden days.”