Whenever I think life is a little too tough and I can't stand it one more day, I hang on because of all those that came before me. I owe it to their name to be courageous, honest, and decent. I remember Emeline Owens organizing a wagon train and leaving war-torn Missouri for the gold fields of Montana. I remind myself that I am her descendant. I have those genes. She expects me to be courageous, honest, and decent too.
There are times I feel anxious, even terrified because the economy. I wonder how the income from our business, struggling the past five years, will ever pay for things such as our skyrocketing health insurance costs. When life seems too precarious to handle, I remember Emeline driving an ox team west with only her children to accompany her. She passed a burned out wagon train that had been attacked by Indians, but she couldn't go back. I must press forward too.
When I lost my oldest grandchild to a brain tumor, I had the example of those that came before to lean on. Maude Brodock, my grandmother, watched her baby die slowly through several months from a bowel problem that could probably be cured with pro-biotics now. She got on with her life, so I knew I could get on with mine.
When I worry about what others think of me, I remember Robin Byrd. He ranched, he explored, he mined, and he put in a stint as a Federal Marshall. He was busy living his life. I imagine he made his mistakes. All people do. He had no time to wallow in chagrin from his mistakes. From what I've heard of him, I'd bet money he didn't give a hoot what anyone else thought either. I don't want to disappoint Uncle Robin by cowering before public opinion.
When today's influential people want me to shift my values to conform to whatever popular philosophy they have decided is now correct, I cannot do it. I have too many people behind me who paid too high a price to worship as they please and live the values they knew in their hearts and minds were right. Leaving behind family, home, and property, my Puritan and Mormon ancestors sent God, and me, a message that they weren't joking when they determined to follow His course. They trusted Him. Can I do less?
Whenever I think of my children, I know sometimes their lives are going to be tough. Our family stories remind us of those who went before. They were courageous, honest, and decent. They are part of us and we are part of them. We owe it to them to honor their names.