Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Friday, April 9, 2010

C: Every Day Ordained?

This is a post about a post.  My mother-in-law posted the other day at Immigrant Daughter, and in it she revealed something I only just discovered while reading it.  She did not make much of this in her post but, as you will see, I have been pondering it ever since I read it. 

carlandcat Here’s the much-shortened version of the back story:  My father-in-law (now gone from us for two years) was born out of wedlock in Indiana in 1924.  He was raised in foster homes, and his story is one of extremes: tragedy and redemption. 

This is one of my favorite pictures of him, in my breakfast room, holding my cat.  You can read more about him on Immigrant Daughter.  He married MIL in 1949.

When he was grown, with his own family (maybe in his 50’s??), he found his blood family.  After he was given to the foster system as an infant, his parents had married and had two sons—his full brothers.  His parents had both died by the time he located the family.

In that research he came in contact with his aunt by marriage who had been married to the then-deceased Alfred, FIL’s mother’s brother.  And during the course of the research to find his family, a publication about Alfred surfaced.  Alfred was a candidate for governor in his home state of Indiana.  This was a message to his voters back home from his Army post in Camp Llano Grande, Texas.  It was written on September 15, 1916, and the gist of it is that Alfred, serving the Army on the Mexican Border, was for prohibition.  Here is a scan of it:


Now, switch attention over to MIL.  She grew up on the East Coast, born into a Greek family in 1930.  In her “archives,” she found a similar publication about her father’s brother, Charlie.  This was also called “A Message from the Border.”   Here is a scan of it. 


It is an article informing Charlie’s union local (Union of Operating Engineers, No. 542) back in his home state of Pennsylvania  about Charlie’s service to the Army on the Mexican Border.  The article speaks of Charlie’s earnest work against prohibition.  The date?  September 15, 1916.  It is also from Camp Llano Grande, Texas.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  (hum “Twilight Zone” music twilightzone here).  Let’s see. 

  • MIL’s uncle from Pennsylvania and FIL’s uncle from Indiana
  • both in the Army at Camp Llano Grande
  • at the same time
  • feature in articles on prohibition
  • on the same, exact date
  • And MIL just happens to have both of these in her possession???!!!!

I don’t know about you but this seems like an awful lot of coincidence to me.  Of course, we have no idea that these men ever met—Alfred was an Officer who later retired as a Colonel.  Charlie was a private at the time of this article, and returned to his civilian life later on. 

Certainly, they could have no idea that Alfred’s nephew (born some 8 years after these missives were written) and Charlie’s niece (born 14 years later) would later marry.  They probably were not even aware of each other’s articles on prohibition being generated and set back to their respective homes on the same day

I just think it is weird as all get-out that these traces of by-gone folk converged in this way.

I told this to one of my associates this morning, and she puzzled, quiet for a moment.   “I’m trying to find the meaning of this,” she said.  Me, too.  I have thought a lot about it. 

For me, it is like some kind of message of hope through FIL.  It seems to tell me that the craziness, uncertainty and trouble of life does, indeed, fit into some scheme and some plan.  It feels like a message crafted for me back in 1916, as if God knew that in 2010 C would need a little communication that He is in control—beginning to end—and that it will be okay, no matter how it seems at the moment. 

And, believe me, C does, indeed need to believe that the insanity of her last three years is in the hands of Someone Who Knows What He’s Doing.  For sure.

And I can’t keep from thinking about this:

All the days ordained for me

       were written in your book

       before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:16

Yes, I know I over think, but that is how it feels…. C


KathyB. said...

I often contemplate these kinds of things and just throw my hands up. Obviously God has a plan and a way! I found through my husband's genealogical studies that both our families crossed paths way back in the early 1900's in a very small town in Minnesota. Not so many people were in that town, ever. When I factor in the chances that I would ever have ended up where I did to meet my beloved, well, it seems God is there in the details of my life...and yours!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Yes, I do love this story because it so well illustrates what we know as "Providence". I love the book of Esther because you see the hand of G-d moving, although His name is never mentioned. Not only in the grand scheme of things, but in the little, even minute things, there are no accidents. Even the hairs of our heads are counted. V.

Protege said...

What an intricate story.
I too struggle almost every day with finding the answers to life's big questions. When we are faced with difficult times and tragedies and we need the reason why, it is at times of a great comfort to know that there is indeed a divine plan to all of this.
Although I am a fatalist to some degree, I also believe that not everything is predetermined and that along the way we do have a choice. I read somewhere once that we are like ships at sea. The destination is predetermined, but how we get there is in our own hands.
I love the picture of your father in law.
Have a lovely Friday,

Jenna said...

Whoa...thats weird. God does know what he's doing. I tend to forget that and try to fix things on my own...God always knocks me upside the head and shows me that only HE is in control!

Pondside said...

I've experienced too many of this type of thing to think that any of them might be random. Ordained? You bet!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I try not to ponder the intricacies of my family. My mother, now gone, was big on secrets. After she died I found out that I have a brother out ther somewhere. Well, half brother, he would be 9 years older than me. My mother had this child when she was 14 and legend has it that he was sold .......

See what I mean?

Happyone :-) said...

It does make you wonder! A great verse for this post.
My word verification here today is verse. What could that mean? :-)

Janera said...

I absolutely love this post. LOVE. THIS. POST.

Kat_RN said...

The universe is an intriguing place. Thanks for sharing your little puzzle with us. I am going to show it to my Sweet Hubby in a minute.

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

That is all so neat, God is in control:)

mr.c looks like his daddy.

Sandra said...

This is sooo interesting, C. And I believe that if we actually look for it, we can see God giving us comfort and insight regularly in our lives through all kinds of different mediums, even old newspaper articles.

Thanks for sharing this -- it truly is remarkable.

carla said...

Wow. That is such a lovely gift that our Father gave you.

It reminds me of a story that Corrie ten Boom used to tell. She would hold up a piece of embroidery showing the audience the backside and said that all that mess was like how we look at our lives. No discernible pattern, lots of loose ends. But then she would turn it around with the front side showing. She said that's how God sees our life.

It's such a pleasure to read your blog. I look forward to new posts.

P.S. Your father-in-law sounds like he was an incredible man. I'm glad you included a photo of him. I like that cat, too.

Anita said...

Hi C, I was reading through the blog Immigrant Daughter and I too read that story of the two men. It was rather interesting to read and it's really amazing how some paths cross. I'm waiting for the next chapter of Immigrant daughter, can't wait. Kind regards, Anita.

Brenda Leyland said...

Hi, Thanks so much for stopping by my place. I had a lovely browse through your site. Love the idea of stick horse cowgirls!

Enjoyed reading your postings too. Most amazing how this account weaves its mysterious tale. Yes, even the very hairs of our heads are noted!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Amen and amen. I call these sign posts but I have to admit, THIS one is a biggy. I would call this bizarre but it isn't to the one who knows all - just us!

You have been on my mind and heart and that led me to pray for you. Not always my response. Sometimes I have to get two-by-foured with constantly thinking about someone to realize I'm supposed to pray. I'm a really slow learner.

I finally got a project up that's been gnawing at me for some time - I created a blog about my great grandmother and a book she kept chock FULL of things.

And BTW, Grizzly is a member of the Operating Engineers. I'm just sayin. lol

Anonymous said...

Indeed, truth is stranger than fiction. What a fascinating story! We would do well to believe in divine intervention. God bless you.

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