Tuesday, May 22, 2012

... is a gift from Letha.

So who is she? This amazing person I wish I had known? She was born Letha Mae Thomas in 1931 and she passed from this world in 2003. I can tell you that she was the eldest girl of a very large family, 8 full siblings, 3 half. I have been told that she helped raise her siblings, and then became a huge influence in the lives of their children, her nieces and nephews (my father among them).

A poem written in dedication to Letha by Pam Thomas, wife of one of Letha's brothers. 

My father moved from Ohio to Florida to help her and her husband in the 1990s, where he has stayed ever since. It was his suggestion that I have access to the Legacy, pulling it out of storage. I thank those of her siblings who have entrusted me with this job of being the caretaker of her Legacy.

So, what got her started? When did she begin? How did she do all of this? I don't know.

She did all of this by hand. The internet is my crutch. Much of her work was done from a distance. The bulk of the areas covered in the Legacy is in Virginia, and West Virginia. She lived in Florida. I can't even use the excuse of distance. I live in Kentucky. Just 4 hours from her childhood home and much of the history. I hope that I am worthy of her. 

For various reasons, I am unfortunately not very close (physically, emotionally, etc) to my Paternal side, and much less to generations of family beyond my father and his siblings. I hope to change that (and Facebook helps us keep in touch much easier!), but getting to know the ancestors is one process and catching up with those still among us is another. I hope that they will help me honor Letha in this project by adding to my knowledge with their first-hand experiences of our family. Help me to get to know these people that I missed out on knowing in person. 


Gini said...

Letha was very beautiful and left a wonderful legacy. Good luck on your journey . . . .

Jodi Roessler said...

Thank you so much Gini!