Sunday, February 3, 2013

Helping another...just because

A few months ago, I received a phone call from the Temple President in Columbus, Ohio.  A lady who was not a member of our church had called the temple, wanting to know if someone could help her find out something about her family.  She wasn't even sure who her father's family was.

President Brandt said, "Point her to Peggy!"

I called the woman, told her who I was, and reassured her that I was someone she could trust.  She  was African-American,  and was elderly.  I asked her a few questions, again reassuring her that she need not fear me, and told her I would get back with her as soon as I had something.

Her family was not that difficult to find.  I spent part of an afternoon doing some basic research and locating her family in census records, death records and obituaries.

I ended up taking her family back to the Civil War days.  Imagine that!  Clear back to the days of bondage.

I called her again to tell her I found some things she would be interested in, and asked her for her address.  Again, she was a bit hesitant, but I told her that once I sent the items to her I would shred her phone number and address.

I sent sixty pages of her family's history to her.

I didn't hear from her for a couple of weeks.  I just chalked it up to an "Oh, well" moment, and went on my way.

Then, the phone call came.  She was beyond ecstatic!!  She had shared the information with her children and grandchildren, and they were excited to take it to the next level.  I told her that it might be a challenge to get beyond the Civil War, and that she should refer to the web sites I had given her in my letter to her.

This was one of those wonderful, feel-good moments that come in helping another.  I don't know if Miss Pauline will ever know her pre-Civil War family, but what I sent to her brought her and her family great joy - which in turn, gave me great joy.