Friday, September 27, 2013

Where to begin? The beginning!

When I sat down to think about what this blog was going to be about, I initially thought it would primarily trace my mother, Irene Barnes Ruffin's family history: the Barneses, the Smiths, the Cowarts, the Browns, the Suttons, the Baggetts, the Williams, and so many others. But then I began to think about my closest tie to these past ancestors - my mom.

I also want to write about "Irene Barnes," the woman that I knew and loved, the most unsung person I know. She only lived for 53 years, but she packed so much love into that time that it was as if she had lived several lifetimes. Still, now that 20 years have passed and I have two children of my own, I find that there's so much I want to ask and show and share and laugh about with her. Most of all, I feel like she is the type of woman, the type of person, that I strive to be, so I often ask myself not only WWJD, but WWMD (What Would Mama Do)? So, I try my best to pattern myself after her, and one of the best ways that I can think to do so is to acknowledge and honor those who paved the way for me - my elders and ancestors.
My mom struggled with high blood pressure and heart problems her whole life, and when she died suddenly of a heart attack in 1990, we all probably should have seen the signs, but none of us were prepared for it. Can you ever really be? So, one of the hard lessons she left me to learn was to take better care of my health and to let others know when I wasn't feeling 100% rather than suffering in silence.

There were so many areas where I was left wanting with the loss of my mom, but knowing more about our family's health history came to the forefront after her siblings started dying in the years immediately following her own death. So, this, combined with the fact that my mom passed one month before the family reunion we were planning to hold - finally bringing her siblings to our home in the North (a REALLY big deal for a family of people who basically stayed in the same area of Mississippi for 150 years) - and that now, our plans were for a funeral, led me to wanting to know more about my family, both the living ones as well as the deceased.

So, I'll probably be bouncing around, topic-wise, as inspiration takes hold, so bear with me. There WILL be a lot of genealogy-related posts, but sometimes, it might just be about what I ate for lunch. It might be a bit of a bumpy ride, but I promise that we'll laugh every now and then (well, one of us will), and that hopefully, I'll learn more about myself as I learn about my family history.

And, awayyyyyyy we go...


  1. I just lost my Mom 7 weeks ago so now I understand the wanting better than most. Now I know why you've come. Welcome Ms. Irene - we'll take good care of your Girl! And well done Renee... nothing the Ancestors appreciate more than an open spirit & obedient heart. :)

  2. Dearest Luckie, I'm SO very sorry to hear about your mom's passing. Even for me 20 years later, it seems like a bad dream sometimes, so I have a good idea of what you're going through. Your comment made me smile and gave me a lump in my throat. Thanks for the support. We have become sisters in this terrible, terrible way that not many understand, but I hope that you will find at least some small comfort in knowing that you are helping me and so many others along in our journeys of searching and finding and hopefully, understanding. The old gospel song said it best, "we'll understand it better, by and by." You have a new sister-friend when and if ever you need it!

  3. You are as beautiful as your mother Renee! Thank you for sharing her with us and welcome to AAG & SAR as well as the world of genealogy blogging too!

  4. Thanks so much, Liv! I cant wait to read your and others' blogs, too, and get to know you all better!

  5. Welcome Cousin to the Blogging Community. I too am sorry to hear about your Mom. If you believe that this work is Spiritual then you have to know Mom and the Ancestors are guiding you along the way of your Journey. You have done so much so far and I look forward to reading all the stories about your trips to MS, Family Reunions, etc......

    Good Luck to you and Happy Ancestral Journey!!!!!

  6. So Happy that i woke up this morning and was looking thru some stuff and found your feed, what a fantastic journey. Can't wait to hear more. Beverly

  7. Beverly, thanks so much for leaving me some love here! I really appreciate the support and advice! Have added the Followers gadget! :-)