Thursday, May 14, 2009

What is in a theme?

A HERITAGE AND A LEGACY grew from a re-reading of the book James Mercer Kirkham, Highlights of His Successful Life (which I have referred to as JMK in earlier posts). This book compiled by his family was published in 1961 (FHL call #921.73 A1). It gave a glimpse into his very rich, involved life. Not having the book in front of me right now I can only sketch it for you: name badges and delegate ribbons, business cards, headlines and news articles, photographs. Photographs. And did I mention photographs? Photographs of his children, his wife, his homes, cars, places business, his mission companions, his committees. I cannot recall the specifics but there is a photograph of the genealogy- family tree- of a prize bull! (Hey! He was head of the Genealogy Society, you recall.) Somewhere in this book the authors comment on the number of photographs James Mercer Kirkham left. It was his record. Not out of some vanity, but the material evidence of a life lived. His record/his legacy/my heritage.
We are meeting to reflect on a heritage we share from our pioneer grand-parents: what we have as evidence of their lives; and to highlight their legacy: the evidence that we live our lives in a manner that they would have us. This would be, I believe in they way they conducted their own: rich, involved, generous with time and abilities, concerned about neighbors and communities. Full citizenship!

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