I've enjoyed many things about working on my family tree: getting a better sense of our whole family history, reconnecting with distant (geographically or genetically) relatives, and especially seeing old pictures, documents, and letters. Last summer, my Great Aunt passed away, and my family has kept in better touch with her daughter, (my first cousin once removed, if you're keeping track), and she recently sent my mother some pictures and other things my Aunt Betty had that she thought we'd like to see.
Among the items: A letter my mom wrote to my aunt when my mom was 11. (That's her on the left in the picture above, at about 8 or 9, with my late Aunt Nan, center, Aunt Bet, right, and Uncle Bill, the baby in the middle.) I don't remember my mom having many things like this to show me - things she worked on at that age. My mom is not a saver/journal-keeper/keepsake-storer like I am. So now I have this letter, and love having it, love a little insight into my mom's young mind. She writes at to close: "At the moment, I am trying to think of something to say. Guess I'll have to say Good-by." That just cracks me up! But also in the letter: A poem my mom wrote, called "Give Him Glory."
Give Him Glory - Karen Mudge
As I behold these wonders
As I see these glorious sights
As I remember all our privileges
And all our laws and rights
I wonder if we've deserved all this
Have we earned these wonders rare?
God gives us love and tenderness
But do we act as if we care?
No one stops to thank Him
It's time he gets some praise
We thank you for these things, Dear Lord
To you our glories raise.
Sweet and thoughtful. Obviously, my Aunt Bet thought so too, since she still had it in her possession 45 years after my Mom wrote it!