|Hazel Mickelsen Ganus|
Mother’s Day is the perfect day to recognize some of the mothers in my ancestry. Each made a difference to those who knew them during their lifetime, as well as those who followed. Each left a legacy of love, strength and perseverance.
My Grandma Hazel Mickelsen Ganus was in born in1900 to Rasmus Mickelsen and Elsie Marie Cornum. We loved her fried chicken and lemon pie and knew we could always count on having it at least once when we went to visit. Grandma taught school before marriage and continued until their children were born. When my Grandpa Ganus began to have health problems, she returned to teaching school. I remember being confused by her stubborn determination to not get an electric washing machine and how fearful I was when I helped her do laundry using an old wringer washing machine. I just knew my hand was going to get caught in that wringer! One of my favorite memories of her is a time when she came to visit and she and I sat on the bed and talked long after others had gone to bed. She was a widow for 31 years.
|Mary Leone McDaniel
Grandma Maud McDaniel Hostetter was born in 1902 to William J. McDaniel and Mary Maralda Shawcroft. She married Nephi Glen Hostetter in 1921 and they had nine children. She raised a large family and always had a large garden. She was passionate about genealogy and instilled in me (and other family members) a love for those who have gone before. She loved to write and left many stories of her life which have served to inspire and lift her many descendants. Grandma was a wonderful cook and had a gift for making those around her feel loved. She was a master story teller and loved to tell the stories of her ancestors, but she also loved to tell fairy tales and could really make the stories live. She became a widow when she was 57 and never remarried. She died at the age of 89.
|Sarah E. Faucett Ganus|
Great Grandma Sarah E. Faucett Ganus was born in 1864 to James Merritt Faucett and Elmina Bowers in Cassandra, Georgia. She lost her mother when she was 14 years old. A few years later her family left their home in Georgia and migrated to the vastly different climate of Manassa, Colorado. There she met and married widower William Franklin Ganus. No stranger to heartache, she buried two of their children in their first few years of marriage, including their only daughter. In 1897 she and husband Frank packed up their children and belongings and moved to Oklahoma. She was widowed at the age of 42 and was left with three small children to raise. She died just a few short years later at the age of 45.
|Mary Maralda Shawcroft
My Great Grandma Mary Maralda Shawcroft McDaniel was born to John Shawcroft and Anne Marie Jensen in 1876 in Fountain Green, Utah. Her family moved to southern Colorado where she met the love of her life, Will McDaniel whose family had moved there from Tennessee. The community celebrated the marriage of the popular and well loved young couple. When she was 29 years old, their five year old son Elbert became ill and died. Five months later, while still grieving the loss of her son, she lost her husband Will in a work accident. She never remarried but moved in with her parents and cared for her two small children. She took in laundry, cleaned the church or did whatever work she could find in order to earn a little money. Refusing to give into discouragement about her situation, it is said that no matter how difficult, she never had a negative thing to say about life or others. She took every opportunity to serve and help alleviate the suffering of those around her.
My own mother is thankfully still living and has always been a great example of a woman who loved being a wife and mother. She has always loved a challenge and has never quit learning. She is an incredible seamstress, an excellent cook and has literally made hundreds of quilts for those who needed to know someone cared.
As I look at these women and the challenges they each faced, each has been an example to me. Each played an integral role in who I am and what I believe. Each did their part in teaching the generation that followed about finding joy, living in faith, serving others and working hard.
In addition, I have learned from my these sweet women that life for them, just as it is for me, was full of up and downs. Sadly many of the downs, which include loss, are readily apparent, while the ups are only known if they were recorded by either them or others in their life.
What will our descendants, several generations removed, know about us? Will they have to rely on a few sparse documents or will they have the stories of our lives, told in our own words?
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved