Last year my New Year’s Resolution was to give up dieting. Surprisingly, keeping this was harder than it sounds. Nonetheless it was the first New Year’s resolution I kept until bathing suit season. So with this whole “new year new you” mantra upon us again, I am asking myself, what is the point? Seriously, why should I try to change anything? What if I believe the old me is pretty cool and I don’t need to change anything? Would embracing the old me change how I raise my kids? Would accepting the old me help my child embrace his uniqueness and understand he is special in his own way? Maybe instead of a new year’s resolution that rejects the old me for the new, this year I’ll resolve to embrace the old me.
I invite you to join me. Instead of trying to change your future, why not try looking in your past and maybe you will realize just how awesome you are. Share with your children who are our future just why the past makes them so special. Here is what I’ll be sharing with mine:
Norma Arrington: Risk Taker. Your great-great-great-grandmother immigrated from Scotland to America when she was a young woman. If leaving your homeland and starting over in a new country wasn’t risky enough; she defied convention and never married, yet stayed in a committed relationship to your great-great-great-grandfather who was African American. So lets embrace the old and become risk takers.
Fannie Arrington Tann: Proud. Your great-great-grandmother raised nine children during a time in American history when opportunities where few for African Americans. Although their physical characteristics would have allowed for them to “pass” for white (meaning lie about your ethnic heritage) to have access to opportunities, Fannie never did. Long before #blacklivesmatter or the James Brown Song she instilled pride in our identity. So lets resolve to be proud.
Doris Tann Brown: Generous. Never one to allow someone else to suffer your great-grandmother would give you the shirt off her back if you were cold, and the food off her plate if you were hungry. So this year my sons, lets resolve to be generous.
Theodore Brown II: Resilience. Your grandfather never stopped trying to achieve the goals he set for himself. Although he failed many times he never gave up, and has become triumphant overcoming many obstacles to success. Lets resolve to be resilient.
Nichole Brown: Love. To my dear children, in 2016 I am not going to change anything about myself, because everything I am made of I have given to you. You are risk-takers who are proud, generous, resilient, and full of love. I wouldn’t have you any other way.
If you are interested in researching your families heritage and need some tools to get you started the library has these available:
Ancestry Library: Public records and genealogy tools for the family historian. Emphasis on immigrant lists, passenger lists, and other public documents. This database is available at the Main and branch libraries, but not outside library facilities.
Heritage Quest: Public records and genealogy tools for the family historian. Emphasis on records from newspapers, local history books and documents.