For 2015 I had set 26 rather (outrageously) ambitious intentions for myself. I am happy to note that I managed to fulfill 16 of the 26. Big Ones. Like planning a wedding and getting married, selling and buying houses, enrolling in post-grad studies.
Way cool stuff. Even though it was a typical Geminian biting-off-more-than-one-can-chew shotgun approach.
It was most assuredly a Year of Change.
All the Big Stressers in Life, I experienced. Career shifts, marriage and moving house, starting back to school, and death. Jam-packed year, it was.
And, so. Now, then. Here I am at the gate of 2016, wondering what intentions to lay hold of, expound and pursue.
Where I said last year the theme was Change (and, man, was it!), this year I have determined the that my pursuit will be Laying Strong Foundations and Expansive Successes.
Think big, and big becomes.
Part of my psychotherapy studies to create a Genogram of my family, back at least three generations on both sides. It is, essentially, creating a family tree that shows not only ancestral pedigree (or lack thereof!) but also the physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic patterns that encompass the generations. Like where they came from and the hardships they endured, the stories of their life, their successes, their religious and community affiliations, their passions and hobbies, their civic duty, artistic or mechanical legacies - and their addictions, psychological afflictions, health issues, relationships, etc.
It's an enlightening, humbling, fascinating journey through my ancestral streams.
For the time being, my daily 50-word challenge is going to riff on my discoveries, contemplations, and "what-ifs" of what I discover as I complete my personal genogram...
50 Words - Charlotte Hawkins
What was her thinking, when she decided to marry him knowing that her family did not approve? What was the tug at her heart in those moments of resolve? Did she have a prescient understanding of the legacy that would become her lineage? She said, 'yes.' Thus, I am. Here.
I can easily trace the Lee lineage back to my Great-Great-Great Grandfather and Grandmother, George Lee (1779-1867) and Charlotte Hawkins (1785-1883). Beyond the two of them, the trail goes outright cold for him and seemingly cold for her; I will have to journey to Ireland and sleuth out from those green hills anything I wish to know about and beyond them, it seems.
Long-standing family legend has it that George was the Gamekeeper on a big family estate in County Wicklow, Ireland. He married the estate owner's daughter, Charlotte, against her family's wishes. They then moved to Dublin where they went on to have 7 children (5 boys, 2 girls). Around 1841, they - along with ALL of their adult children and their respective spouses - emigrated to Canada, first in the Toronto area and then most of them moved to Grey County where they established farms.
This story is a point of fascination for me for a number of reasons. First, that Charlotte married the Gamekeeper George! Second, that the entire family picked up roots and sailed across the ocean to a unknown land, where they re-established themselves enmasse.
On the first point, my brother Rob and I differ. I think Charlotte may have been the daughter of Sir James Hawkins-Whitshed (Baronet) and wife Sophia Bentinck - owner of a very large estate in the area. Rob, however, thinks she might have been the daughter of a Head Tenant, who would have maintained the estate on Sir James' behalf.
I cannot find corresponding records for either possibility. If she is, in fact, the daughter of Sir James, then I can trace family lineage all the way back to the 1100s. If not, I'm stone-cold stopped.
Whatever the case, George and Charlotte's early life remains a mystery and the family has an intriguing story. I am simply humbled and grateful that Charlotte, daughter of estate owner, decided to marry the Gamekeeper George. [Imagine the scandal that would have been!!] Because she did so, I am here to type this.
I hope as I pursue my family's ancestral histories I will stumble upon the truths of their lives and have their stories revealed in detail... the little I do know about the two of them I am certain I would instantly like both of them. She's a girl after my own heart, she is.