2/6/10

There are NO coincidences in life...


My father died when he was 58 years old.


While that in itself is devastating, the fact that I was too young to care about family history is now almost equally difficult.


My father’s parents died young, and he was an “orphan” when he (at 36 years of age) married my mother. His father died first, of an apparent heart attack, and it was rumored that when my grandmother passed on several weeks later it was from a broken heart.


While rummaging through the corners of my attic crawl space just a few months ago, I discovered an old, worn yellow folder. Inside where beautifully handwritten pages that told an amazing story about that woman who would have been my grandmother.


My aunt Jimmy sent this “gift” to her brother’s children one Christmas when we were too young to appreciate it – or remember it.


Imagine my incredible surprise when I sat on the floor of the attic that chilly Saturday and opened this treasure. Inside, on the first page was the name of my Grandmother, and this.


“Gladys Ruth McKinney Marsh”


March 22, 1892 – January 14, 1950.


Her birthday and Sassy’s are on the SAME DAY.


And her age when she passed?



58.

67 comments:

suzicate said...

What treasures. I have researched the genealogy of both parents lines and those of my husbands families. Of course, my kids couldn't care less. But I think one day, they'll lokk at the photos and recorded history and they might just be amazed.

CatLadyLarew said...

What a wonderful treasure to find! (Vlad was also born on the same day as his great grandmother.)

Joanna Jenkins said...

The older we get the more important family and history becomes.

:-)

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

I'm heartbroken...your folks were too young when they died!!

Steven Anthony said...

what a beautiful gift, how awesome that all those yrs later it was there waiting for you, when you were ready....life, truly amazing how it gives us what we need when we need it.

peace my friend;)

Just Breathe said...

My mother died of a massive heart attack at 56. I am now 58. I still have my father who is 86.
What I don't understand is why I don't take better care of myself knowing my family's history of heart issues. My mother's father also died of a massive heart attack and my father had a stroke about 20 years ago. Actually I want to thank you for posting this because I must take better care of myself.

Joann Mannix said...

What a treasure. And you are right, there are no coincidences. Enjoy your little piece of hand-written history.

publicknitting said...

That is a little creepy. And, I'm confused.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Wow...

Snappy Di said...

My father, his sister, and their mother each died at the age of 70. It bugs me to know this. Genetics sometimes don't play fair.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Lori said...

Whoa, that's weird. You know what else I've found? I've known so many people to actually die on their birthdays. Hmm....

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

I love this picture of your Dad. I agree with some of the other commenters, I don't like knowing the ages of when my grandparents died. It somehow puts this "expiration date" on the rest of us.

My Mom, 72, recently told me that her mother died when she was 78. "So, I've got six years left!" she quipped. I asked her to try and go for a new record!

Thanks for the post, glad I found you!

@eloh said...

On my mom's side, both her mother and grandmother died on their 90th birthdays.

@eloh said...

I'm easily distracted, and was by the comment a couple above this now.

I meant to tell you that I had a daughter born just a couple days before my mom's birthday... so I named her after my mother. A few years later, I had another daughter...this time born on my mom's birthday.

The Pipster said...

That just gave me the chills. You are right, there are no coincidences. Quick digress: I am also a strong believer in the power of thoughts and how if you think about something hard enough, sometimes it happens. Best, P

Everyday Goddess said...

It is really eerie about how some things just repeat through our lives.

Secretia said...

I think we want some things to be coincidental. I do.

Secretia

Michele said...

Family history is important to know for just this reason.

yellA95 said...

Wow, that's really intersting(and a little creepy)...But still a cool find!

We were cleaning out the basement the other day and it was really cool to find all these really old pictures of my family...

Middle Aged Woman said...

I hate to be a spoiler, but if she died in January, she was 57. Still too young.

Vodka Mom said...

I was afraid that SOMEONE here would be able to do the math.

Frankly, they both died at almost EXACTLY the same age.

Perhaps if I serve some martinis no one would have noticed.

Christy said...

Wow that is amazing. I too wish I knew of my family's history. Good reminder to me to get to it while I can. Hope you're having fun at the conference!

Cora said...

Oh, I'm sure I would have sat there crying my eyes out.

My daughter was born on my best friend's birthday. All through the pregnancy my friend told me she knew the baby would be born on her birthday (Nov. 4) and I scoffed because the baby was due October 21 or 22nd. There was NO WAY the baby would be born THAT LATE, I said.

Clearly I jinxed myself on that one.

Brian Miller said...

i agree, great treasures...

Pastor Sharon said...

Sassy's Birthday and 58? There are no coincidences. Now, is there more to this grandmother's story you have uncovered? And, are you going to share that with the rest of us?

Vodka Logic said...

coincidences like that are remarkable and fun. What a neat discovery.

jessica said...

amazing!!

SkylersDad said...

Wow, that is incredible!

Not The Rockefellers said...

You are right there are no coincidences

but history does have an uncanny knack of repeating itself

Thank You!
this is a great reminder to keep our hearts healthy, especially if there is a family history of problems.

February is Heart Awareness Month

Peace ~ Rene

Jennifer Juniper said...

That is really something! I agree, there are no coincidences, maybe Sassy has a piece of Gladys in her!

Liss said...

What a wonderful find!

My grandmother was born on your grandmothers' 30th birthday - 22 March 1932 (which also is the day the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened).


Good date that one ;)

Liss said...

whoops I can't count - 40th birthday!

Captain Dumbass said...

Wish I could find some treasures like that.

Oh, and my delphiniums are about 5 inches tall today.

3 Men and a Lady said...

This does NOT mean you will only make it to 58. You hear me?? Stop thinking it.

Just Words On A Page said...

I have goosebumps and I think it's amazing you have that to keep. And you know you will live to be 98. Keep taking great care of you:)

flutter said...

oooo creepy!

Tracie said...

My husband's grandmother passed at 63, his mother passed at 63; to say his sister is a little worried would be an understatement!

Mellodee said...

My reactions are all over the map on this. My dad's mother died at 55 (I've been told, that was before I was born). My day died at 59. I fully expected to die before age 60. I didn't; I will be 64 this year. What does that mean? Probably nothing. My mom's parents both died in their late 70s, I believe. Mom lived to age 83. So will I live into my 90s? Who knows??

My granddaughter (a 29- week preemie) was born on my maternal grandmother's birthday. She is going strong and is a normal healthy 8 year old. So what does that mean? Ahh, no way of telling if it means anything at all.

I don't understand why these kinds of things make people say there are no coincidences. Of course there are! You see it everyday. If you take a random sampling of a 100 people, you will probably find someone born on the same day as you, or someone born on the same day as your child and so on. It is the law of averages at work. There are only 365 days that a person can be born on. Sometimes there will be coincidences and sometimes there won't! Sometimes two strangers sitting next to each will both have on blue socks. Its not some cosmic plan, its coincidence.

But that's what coincidence is. According to the dictionary:
"A sequence of events that ALTHOUGH ACCIDENTAL SEEM TO BE PLANNED or arranged." [emphasis added]

And within our world coincidences happen all the time.

If there were really no coincidences, then things like matching birthdays or dates of death would be a whole lot more meaningful than most people could handle... in fact, it would be paralyzing.

So that means every coincidence MUST be meaningful or NONE of them are!

Frankly, just because I wore blue socks on the same day as the person I'm sitting next to, just doesn't seem like it could possibly have any real significance in my life. It's just a coincidence.

Gayle said...

Mellodee had the most intelligent comment of them all. I am superstitious so I would freak out.

BLOGitse said...

You have it. The sensitive intuition. You know what you're doing and why.
Some things are clear only after many, many years. You know. You have it. Keep it. And take good care of it.
With warmth BLOGitse

Susan Higgins said...

What a great gift to find in the attic! My dad wrote a daily journal over the course of a year, when he went back to school to get a GED and then an Associates Degree. It is one of my projects, waiting to be typed and published as a blog - maybe I should just start and do it. Thanks for the inspiration VodkaMom!!!

just making my way said...

A great discovery. Those things are so important to have.

CaneWife said...

Chills. But what a gift.

Lili said...

Though someone commented that the ladies date of death was earlier than 58 it does not change the day of her birth-same day as Sassies. I don't believe in coincidences either. Perhaps just a bit of love and history was shared as well as the need to perhaps stay on top of your family health.

My Mom died of massive heart attack-at 57-though the rest of both sides are relatively long lived.

There's a reason for everything and I'm sure you got this info for a good purpose.

Angie Ledbetter said...

No coincidences at all. We met, didn't we? :D

BLACK & GOLD SUPA BOWL - WHO DAT?!

Namaste_Heather said...

Just found your blog through SITS - Happy Belated SITS Day!

What a treasure. Yes, SYNCHRONICITIES is what I call them. There are no coincidences in life.

Love your blog. Glad I found it!

only a movie said...

The no-coincidences theme is one of my favorite topics to blog about.
:-)
What a wonderful treasure for you, VM.xo

Ace said...

What a wonderful treasure you found!

Kathleen said...

What a tremendous gift! I got chills reading this blog!!!!

Michelle said...

Wow! I didn't aprreciate my family's hertiage until becoming an adult but now I treasure the little tidbits and keepsakes I do have.

Fragrant Liar said...

Vewy, vewy weird!

My daughter's birthday is March 22 also. 1983.

My middle sister was born four years after me. On the same day. We share a birthday, and she truly is my best friend.

Happy coincidences? Maybe.

Laggin said...

What a special find. Someday your kids will care.

Susan said...

Mine was the same age, and he wore bow ties!

SweetPeaSurry said...

What an incredible discovery ... how lucky of you to find that!!!

blessings!

Beth said...

Chill bumps!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Everything they said up there....

and you're doing the same thing HERE for your great grandchildren. Someday, they'll read YOUR writings?

I'll wait while that sinks in. ;)

WeaselMomma said...

How awesome to have that gift.
BTW, you're not planning to kick it at 58, are you?

Frau said...

So this in when you start wishing your were already 59 right! On the bright very interesting to find history and especially letters.

Dawn said...

What a wonderful gift! I sometimes wish my mother knew she was going to pass...I know she would have left something wonderful like that for my brothers and me.

Converting A Spendthrift said...

The grandmother who raised me and my daughter share the exact same birthday as well.

I believe that a families circle of life has some dates, or numbers, or people that are constant when everything else is fluid.

Laura said...

Wow thats a pretty cool find.
Stopping by from SITS!

Marinka said...

What a gift for you to discover it now.

Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

What a beautiful find though!

It was SUCH a pleasure to meet you and hang out with you this weekend (even if it was way too short). Hugs, my sweet friend!
We'll talk soon, k?
Gina

madtexter ☺☺☺☺☺☺ (corey james) said...

Agreed! There are NO coincidences. Life just keeps re-connecting itself to the present. That's a fantastic find. You should keep digging for more stuff in that treasure trove.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Wonderful! I'm so glad you found it. And I think, something more than a simple coincidence.

Betsy (zen-mama.com) said...

Q.What did the Zen Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor A. Make me one with everything!

Just wanted to say that I love studying family history and know how incredible it is to find a "treasure". I wanted to hear more of your story!!

Joanie M said...

I love finding treasures like that. we discovered only a few years ago that my grandmother, who we always thought was Nora was actually named Honora!

My dad was also 58 when he passed away (Mom was 75).