No blog post from me in four days. I was ready to move on with more her Clarice Barksdale’s family tree – even had a unexpected break through in my research. Still, haven’t felt like writing about that. I will – I promise I will. The entire stories of the four families will be told here in as much detail as is possible. Just not today.
It has been a tough week overall. We have a 27-year-old cousin who became ill about 11 months ago. She was diagnosed with hypoplastic myelodysplastic sydrome (MDS). A bone marrow transplant was her only hope. She received the transplant in July, but we learned this week that she is losing her brave fight to GVHD. She went into Hospice care and it is now only a matter of time. There is no comfort in losing a beautiful, charming, smart young life, but because of her, hundreds of people are now aware of the “Be the Match” bone marrow registry and have registered. Many lives will be saved because Laura lived. She would like that. There is no greater gift that one can give than the gift of life.
Laura and her husband, Army Captain Matt Gillette
Today, at Motlow Creek Baptist Church in Campobello, SC, a ceremony was held dedicating Confederate Memorials to two of my Great Great Grandfathers, buried in the cemetery there. I live in Northern Virginia and was not able to make the trip, but a relative sent me the program, photos, and some short videos. When I reading over the program, I was dumbstruck by the fact that part of the ceremony was a pledge of allegiance to the Confederate Flag and the singing of “Dixie Land”. People in Confederate dress uniforms took part in the dedication. While I understand we are proud of ancestors who served in a conflict they thought was right, times have changed. These two men were not wealthy slave owners. They were common men who believed there was truth in the call to arms to fight for the South – they believed they were fighting for right. Honoring my two great great grandfathers wasn’t wrong, but honoring them in that way strikes a wrong chord for me. I am glad I didn’t go.
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered describes how I feel tonight. Perhaps tomorrow I can move on with my stories.