The Circle of Life

Three guesses what the most treasured item is for a genealogist and family historian.  Go ahead.  Before you read any further.  Make your guesses.  The most treasured item is today's entry in the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge. As usual, here are the last three.

5.A picture of your favorite memory - Done.
6.A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day - Check.
7.A picture of your most treasured item - Here!

It took me a while to figure this one out.  Family heirlooms crossed my mind.  Photos from the present to almost the earliest photographs.  It was hard to narrow the list to one until I asked myself what one item I would save if the house was on fire.

So what are your guesses?  An old portrait of a Civil War soldier in his dress greys?  My grandfather's dog tags from World War I?  A pocket watch?  How about a Bible?

The answer is my great-grandparents' Bible.  There are six generations recorded on the pages between the Old and New Testaments.  Being my great-grandparents' Bible, they listed themselves on the main lines and both of their parents under, well, Bride's and Groom's Parents.  As the children came along, they filled in the names and birth dates.  And in some cases, death dates.  They listed marriages and the in-laws' names. 

After my great-grandparents' death's, the Bible became my grandfather's.  He recorded the birth of his daughter and passed it along to her.  My mother recorded my sister's and my births.  She recorded our marriages and the in-laws' names.  And she passed it along to me.  Mostly because my sister had no children.  I recorded the births of my children and am awaiting the times I will write the marriage dates and their husbands' names.  Sadly, the job of noting my parents' deaths fell to me as well.

But that's what life is.  It's cyclical.  We are born, give birth, and die.  And new generations replace us.  I am a generation to be noted, just like my parents, and my grandparents, and great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents.  I have given life to the next generation who will bring forth the next. 

Just one big circle of life.

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