As we paused to consider the birth of our child into this world this past weekend on our vacation, we cannot think about adding to our family without considering our heritage. Lately, we have lost a family member, my Tante Gertie, my Oma's younger sister, and our family friend, Louise Stark. Both women had amazing lives and stories to tell. You can read about Gertie's life on her son's blog.
Tante Gertie spent her life alongside her husband as a missionary, traveling the world providing low-cost eyeglasses in third world countries. She died doing this in India. Louise Stark was a dear family friend who was adopted into my mother's family, the Dahls, from as early as I can remember. She was my uncle Erik's childhood librarian and has always been a part of the Jansen children's lives. One time, she told me an amazing story when I interviewed her: she told me about the first time she ever saw an airplane. What a privilege to know women who could tell such stories and be a living part of history! I love how they were there for it-- World War II, immigration, education, and so on. I hope that my children have the joy of knowing other generations, so that they can learn as I did, to respect their wisdom, experience and lives.