Nancy Becker's Blog
By the time you read this Advent will have passed, yet I enjoyed the theme of Generation to Generation, and the advent devotional book that was made available to us.
I quote from the introduction, “From Generation to Generation” reminds us of the ways our lives, histories, actions, and stories are interconnected and woven together. The work of God is always unfolding in and through us. …remember that you belong - - to a story etched into the wrinkles of time - - to generations that have come before and will come after, and to a love that won’t let you go.”
In the spring Mike and I visited our grandson Matous and his new wife Micah in their home in Akron, Ohio which is just about 10 miles from Rootstown, Ohio where I spent my earliest years.
One Saturday, the four of us went to explore Rootstown, hoping to find the graves of my grandparents. My grandmother Creta Queen Deming, who died in 1972, was the only grandparent I ever knew, and I was very close to her.
We found the cemetery, and, with the help of the groundskeeper, we found the gravestones embedded in the land alongside the gravestone of my brother Daniel who died at age five. There were lots of Demings and Queens among the headstones with dates stretching back to the mid-19th century. Some of them memorialized people whom I remember.
I wanted to try and find the house where I spent my earliest years, but had no more information than the road which had been called Rural Route 2 on Ohio 18. How to even begin? My grandmother had left it in about 1950. How could the house even still be standing?
We drove around the town and found the church in which I’m pretty sure I had been baptized, Rootstown Congregational Church. It looked like there might be some activity and so we all trooped up to the back door on the off chance that someone might be in the church. The door led into the kitchen where several women were preparing a meal that was to be a fundraiser that evening.
I introduced myself. “I’m Nancy Deming Becker and I wonder if anyone knows of any Demings still around the town?”
No, they didn’t know of any, but one woman said, “Wait I wonder if Dorothy Davis might know something.” So these wonderful Christian Women took the time to call her and Dorothy Davis - - a long-time, elderly member of the church - - asked what my grandmother’s name was.
“Creta” I said, and she knew immediately who that was. Dorothy remembered that her father, Wade Davis, had lived as a boarder with my grandparents when he came to town to be the school master! I remembered that name. I learned later that I actually had some pictures of Wade Davis with my grandparents in Grandma’s old photo book. That had to have happened in the 1930’s before I was born, because my parents and I lived in that house during my earliest years.
Dorothy Davis told us through the woman who had made the call that the house was still there on Talmadge Road. “It is a brown house just past the cemetery.”
We had no trouble finding the house. There was no one home, but it was clearly occupied by a family with children. I walked around the yard and peeked into the living room window. The trees and bushes and flower beds were of course radically changed, but I could see the rolling layout of the yard, and the millstones that were the walkways were still there.
From the outside the house looked much the same which is amazing since it was built by my carpenter grandfather in 1924. It is almost a hundred years old!
Imagine how many pieces God put together for me to have this wonderful experience that traversed the generations! It was a joy that my grandson and his wife were with us. I think he will tell their children about it and maybe even take them to visit on some distant day so that they too might be woven into the long tapestry of ancestry.
The experience left me with an awareness of the interconnectedness of the generations of the human race over time and space. God is good. All the time!
I wish for all of you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ a very joyful year in 2023.