I found out something this week that really upset me. I have always been interested in family history. When I was much younger, I helped my mom's sister write out information onto family tree charts, for hours one summer, which is painstaking work. Details are a big deal, you can't make any mistakes. You've got to get the names right, or people will be recopying false information for generations, possibly! When my great-grandmother left a huge box of photographs in our care, knowing that she would not be alive a lot longer, it was a huge honor for us. At least I felt like that. I don't know how my mom felt about the whole thing. To my knowledge, she never went through the box and discovered its treasures. I spent hours in that box! Hours and hours! I looked through it, first of all, with my great-grandmother and she told me some details about people. And I looked at it a lot when it was at our house. I loved to see the way that my family used photography. Because they seemed to capture this sense of fun that was lacking in other photographs, from another branch of our family. I mean, they got out the camera and just looked so happy! Like someone was telling jokes and they were happy. It was nice to view these photographs. Naturally, I became very attached to them. I took one of them, the picture of my great-aunt Eva, and I kept it in my room. It came with its own cardboard frame, because it was done at the photographer's studio, and they gave those out with their photographs back then. This was perhaps back in the 20s, possibly the 30s. About 100 years ago now! Anyway, I played with that photograph so much, opening and closing it, to look at my aunt, that I wore out the frame. I replaced it with another frame with glass, and a pretty rose design. It looks very fancy now. Well, it's the only one we have left, of all the photographs because I kept it myself and didn't tell anyone I had it. I'm glad I had this secret! So glad! Because my uncle came to our house one day, and insisted that he needed to take all of these photographs to his house and scan them into his computer. Well, somehow, this seemed perfectly reasonable to my mother. So she let him take them away. Alright, now that might have been okay. Except he never did get down to actually doing this work that he said he should get to do. And his house burned down with these photographs in them. Alright, so I am upset about it. I was asking my mom about one of the photographs in the box the other day. I told her about the guy who died in World War II, that there's a picture of a man that died. I didn't tell her how he died, only that the Japanese killed him. I thought she would be upset. She gets upset and very troubled by these kind of stories. I'll just keep it to myself, I guess. Never mind. It was just bad for him, of course. Anyway, so I was like, "Was there a cousin of your dad that died in the war?" And she couldn't think of ever hearing about one. I told her he looked like a family member, like a French Canadian. You know, he looked Native American. And she said he may have been one of the sons of one of my great-grandmother's brothers. I learned that she had several brothers. I had only heard that she had sisters! So that was a revelation to me. When I was copying out the family trees, I was just sticking to the direct line of the family, so I didn't realize how many kids my great-great grandparents had. Or, I might have forgotten. Anyway, all I got from her really, is that when there were family reunions, so many people in the family would turn up wearing fur coats, men and women, and looking very rich and that they appeared 'standoffish.' The truth might have been a little more complicated than that. Because if they came from Canada with their wives, well, they came from French-speaking Canada, and they probably just spoke French at home. But my great-grandmother, she married an English speaker and so did her older sister, so they really acculturated in America. The other ones, maybe, were retaining their culture, and had good reason for being off to themselves, as they wanted to speak French together! Yeah, I am upset about losing these photographs. I have had little sleep since I found out what happened. At the time of the fire, my mom didn't mention it. Maybe she hadn't remembered, or she felt there was enough going on. Anyway, it came to me a little earlier this evening, when I was writing about this on another account, that 'God is the Light.' That came to me after I posted this other blog. I think God wants me to feel better about what happened. Well, if you don't believe in God, this will be totally lost on you. But for those believers out there, you will know what I mean. Nothing would be possible without God. We come from Him, we go back to Him. People in those photographs, one thing that made them smile was their hope in God. They were believers. I just have to hold onto that hope that I will see them again, and that once I do, this whole thing will be transformed into something new and better. God is the Light!