I went to visit my good friend Judith, who is now in a hospice with lung cancer. We met as co-workers about 15 years ago or so. Over the years, we have often talked about genealogy and she expressed interest in learning about her family, but just never had the time. The other day I asked her if she would like me to see what I could find. She gave me the names of her parents and their births and I went from there. In two days, I was able to take her father's line back to her ancestor Zachariah Butler, who served in the Revolutionary War. So when I visited her, I took her a notebook of everything I had found. As we looked at the generations, I was able to point out her Civil War ancestor - of course a Confederate, these are loyal Georgia people, after all. She was so excited. He only served a month or so before he became sick with typhoid fever, sent home to recover, and died. Two months later, his wife gave birth to their fourth child. A great story of a courageous woman, who lived to be 92!
We then moved further down the line until we came to Zachariah. When I told her that he had fought in the Revolutionary War, her eyes glowed - yes, with tears! I said, "You are DAR." And she repeated, "I am DAR!" I couldn't have given her a better gift. We spent at least an hour talking about her ancestors.
I am going to work on her mother's line this week. As long as I can provide a service that brings her excitement, I will do so.
I am grateful for precious friends who have enriched my life - for the opportunities that sometimes come to really give a special gift to someone - and for the many men and women who have served in the military, from the Revolution to today. What precious freedoms they have gained and preserved for all of us!