Yesterday I received an email containing a priceless gift: a short life story of my great great grandmother, Mary Ann Pain Holt, who was born in 1840. I knew Mary Ann’s name and I had found a picture of her headstone in the Ogden City Cemetery. But I never knew her, until yesterday.
A distant relative I’ve never met found my name on a website associated with a man I know nothing about. He emailed, inquiring about information I don’t have. After explaining my relation to him and our Holt family, he replied yesterday, sending me several family histories, including the one about my great great grandmother, Mary Ann.
For the first time in my life, I read words from her own mouth. There are no words to describe the joy I felt as her thoughts became mine, except perhaps to say, “in that moment, heaven touched earth.”
What a miracle it is when hearts are turned by words alone! Oh the power of captured stories! The feeling I’ve had since meeting Mary Ann makes me want to write until my fingers turn to bone. I want to leave my stories, my thoughts, my dreams, my testimony of Jesus Christ. I want my posterity to feel what I am feeling right now–connected and loved.
“You know, there are poems, there are stories, whole books, about people who lived hundreds, even thousands of years ago. Those people still live because of words. Words! Words are the most wonderful things in the world. As long as there are words, nobody need ever die.”
– Betsy Byars, Keeper of the Doves
You can read the History of Mary Ann Holt and William Barker here on Ann’s Stories: