Day 1: Write a letter to an ancestor you've never met.
You are my great-grandmother. I wish that I knew more about you. You died before a few months after your youngest child got married. You died five years before my father was born. I’ve got so many questions. If you could answer this letter, I would want to know how you met your husband. He was twenty-three years older than you were, and he out-lived you by fourteen years. How did he propose to you? What was your wedding like? I have so precious few pictures of either of you and just a handful of you together. It’s hard to know what you were like from those photos, but I can imagine the life that you built together.
I would ask you your thoughts on motherhood. You were the mother of four children. What were some of your greatest strengths, and some of your greatest weaknesses? If you had any general advice for your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren what would it be?
I would ask you what your favorite memory of your father is, and I would want to know what your mother was like. Did you live close to them? Did some your children know them well? What are some of your best memories from your childhood - your grandparents, your siblings, and your friends?
What was your favorite smell? I like vanilla and leather - but they are really the only two artificial smells that I can tolerate. I would want to know if I act like you or look like you in any way. What do you see of yourself in me?
The questions that I have for you are endless. Your legacy is what I make it: a loving mother, a good wife, a woman who did the best she could for those she loved. I’m the genealogist for my small family in Texas. I try to reconstruct your life through documents and a few pictures. I know that I miss a lot of the details. Just know, I do my best, and I am always searching for more of you.