Soul & Inspiration, DIY Widow

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Soul & Inspiration, DIY Widow

What Spoke to my Soul and Heart to Inspire Me.

As a young child I was very shy but after becoming a teenage most of that shyness went away.

In seventh grade, I decided to write a small book consisting of pictures I had drawn with a love story all of which had been drawn and written on notebook paper with staples for a binder.  Of course, I knew nothing about love but I was in love with the “ideal” of love.

In Junior High and High School, I tried to keep a Diary but realized fairly quickly, with four brothers in the house, that there would be zero privacy for those written pages.

My Senior year in High School, I was part of the Weekly Newspaper which was put out by students.  The section that I was secretly in charge of was Dear Lulu

Elisha Stockwell Jr Civil War

15-year-old Elisha Stockwell Jr. 1863. My husband, Frank Henderson’s, Great Grandfather’s Brother

A box was placed in the high school hall which had a slit in the top of it to drop pieces of paper with questions on them to Dear Lulu.  Of course, these questions had to do with dating and young love. Pretty sure, I did not give good advice and I am glad nobody ever figured out who Dear Lulu was.

Approximately, twelve years ago, I learned of a book written by Elisha Stockwell, Jr.,  Elisha Stockwell Jr. Sees the Civil War

Private Elisha Stockwell, Jr., Sees the Civil War

Elisha was the brother of Frank Stockwell who was the Great Grandfather of my husband, Frank Henderson. Back in those days if a brother died and the next brother was single they would marry the widow and raise their brother’s children.

Frank Stockwell had four children when he died. After his death, his widow became very ill and close to death. A family named Henderson took in the two youngest children and asked if they could adopt them.  One of these children’s name was Lester Washburn Stockwell and the other child was Lester’s younger sister. The Hendersons had four daughters but did not have a son to carry on the Henderson name.  They promised to educate Lester which they did by sending him to college where he graduated with a degree.

Lester Washburn Stockwell Henderson was my husband Frank’s Grandfather.

Frank Stockwell who was born December 10, 1849, a little less than one hundred years before my husband Loren “Frank” Henderson and both died before age fifty.

Reading Elisha Stockwell Jr.’s account of the Civil War in his book including letters he wrote home to his parents and siblings deeply moved me.

In 2012 I would be inspired again by Frank’s cousin, Deb Aegel-Bastian when she published a book, Letters For Loganfull of letters written to her grandsons about his Dad, Air Force Captain Derek Argel, who died while serving his country in Iraq on Memorial Day in 2005.

Click on Image  on left for more details about the Book “Letters for Logan”

Derek’s son, Logan, was only ten months old when his Dad died. These letters were started by a grieving Grandmother to her Grandson, Logan, as a memorial to his father, Derek.  Friends and family followed her example and wrote letters to Logan about his Dad so Logan would know the wonderful man and soldier his father was.

In 2015 after a deep discussion with God about finding a purpose, I had a dream in which my husband Frank asked me to look in a cedar chest and I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night.  Of course, I knew what was in the cedar chest in my house but suddenly I remembered an old cedar chest in my shed.

When morning came, I went to the shed, unburied the cedar chest, and opened it up.  I found a large square box which I  opened revealing many letters and with a lot of curiosity took it into my game room.  I discovered the box was full of letters written to me from my husband at the age of twenty-one while he was in Vietnam in 1971.

After reading all of his letters, I realized that Frank’s letters were not only beautiful in his words of love to me but also in his words to others about love, war, commitment, sacrifice, and so much more.

I realized that Elisha Stockwell, Jr.and his great-great-nephew Loren Frank Henderson, Jr. fought two separate wars over one hundred years apart but they were both blessed with a beautiful gift for writing about what was going on around them and in their thoughts.

Letters from the past written about a person’s thoughts, feelings and their way of life have always intrigued me.  It is like entering into a time capsule and actually being by their side.

Letters written to a child about a father he was too young to know but will know through those letters is priceless.

Inspiration comes to us sometimes in a pattern of years of inspiration to do the things we think we would never do. Sometimes it is God’s way of preparing us and helping us make the right choices of one of His purposes for us.

So here I am writing a book of Love Letters from the Heart and blogging to you all about how my soul and heart has been inspired.

12 Comments

  1. Nancy, this is beautiful. You are obviously doing the work of your soul. Thank you for blessing us with your stories. I loved hearing the backstory, which instills the depths of your gift. Much love, Mary Rae

    • Thank you so much, Mary Rae. I have always been fascinated with letters from the past. To actually read a letter written by someone who passed long before my time on earth is just amazing but to actually hold that letter in your hand and see the writing on the page opens up a window to the soul and emotions of the writer through the beauty of the grace of their handwriting.
      I see the emotions in Frank’s writing as I have read then typed into these chapters. My plan is to share copied pages of these letters in the book.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy

  2. Hey Nancy,

    It took me longer than I’d hoped to check out this post from the others that’ll follow as I spend at least a few minutes more for every visit I make. I was instantly curious when I saw the title as part of my feed and decided I’d just send it on over to my wall until I’d had the chance to read it for whatever it spoke to, you know? That my friends might enjoy taking a look at…yet, surprisingly it didn’t work out that way!
    The first thing was I’d be startled for realizing exactly what I needed to say! Whoa….wait, that ain’t how it’s supposed to work Den…but it was too late! I’d already shared to my wall with the five words that’d be absolutely ….appropriate! There I go getting ahead of myself! So, as I’d soon notice I couldn’t just leave it there. So I went to my wall and clicked the link. OMG! All I’d done was want to read this one little story from your DIY series! But nooooooo….! Instead I must’ve entered the proper sequence that intantly sent me hurtling around the rings of Saturn, or wherever it is that things you’d just put the finishing touches on end up!! Never to be seen or heard from again. But then , I must’ve clicked another sequence to throw me back only…it wasn’t your blog! This page I’d see just long enough to know , ” Yeah!….No!” A white page that had only a couple of black fonts followed by about as many red ones saying, ” you’ve entered a page which cannot be trusted…it’s been determined that this pages purpose is to mine your data….”Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Now, I knew what X marks the spot really signifies…”don’t bury your treasure here!!” I x-ed out and pretty much I wouldn’t risk it anymore til I ran it by the admin of your blog page. Now…I’m way beyond curiosity!
    ” You May Have the Answer…” were the words I wrote as an introduction to sharing one title of many, andthen only as a spontaneous reflection on whatever you’d written before I’d even have the chance to read it! Made me think that maybe the notes I make to myself sometimes are not necessarily (spooky snare drum roll begins to be heard, quickly rising, increasing in volume only to suddenly end as the report of a perfect rim shot fires!) …my own!!!

    Well, as was predicted by your team, I’d find my way back to your page…phew!! I loved this Nancy…and for good reason!
    I was instantly transported to another time of my life with a man who hired me to take care of his animals while he was out of town. As soon as I read your the name of your husband’s ancestor I instantly heard the most unforgettable sound of one of the animals I’d take care of for a weekend…a gorgeous speciman with all the feathers replete with every color that was part of the majesty of the irridescent blue peacock owned by mr. Stockwell! Steve Stockwell to be exact! taght my brothers and myself a thing or two about how to get along with fowl, as it were, foul as some birds are prone to be! He didn’t give them names that were like your or mine he said, because they were educational birds! The chicken he’d teach us to hypnotize…he called…” Chapter One”!, The Blue Peacock it was best just to keep an eye on because if he did get out of the enclosure it could be weeks of hearing ” Ah AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, Ah AHHHHHHHHHH al over our little valley , day and night, 24/7! He was “Chapter II”. Finally, the foulest fowl of the lot , the meanest bird ever if you paid any attention to him directly…the 47 pound White Tom Turkey he’d call “Chapter III”, but all us boys knew as ” Run for your freakin’ Life!!”
    I just wanted to let you know Nancy, between the time I couldn’t read the story and this morning I finally did, I’d also repost a memory I’d post for the first time last year about my daughters’ great grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She was the first DDH, my father, a combat marine gunny in Korea, the second DDH and then of course…yours truly trying to find his way through with the help of all the history of her family that has come from Grandma Lulu (Dorise Parkes) always in threes…which is pretty significant I think for the number of stories behind the three generations that made the man you married, and for the love that apparently finds three ways into the hearts of people like you and me! What do you think, Nancy? Ware the words I’d introduce your story with…inspired? You may have the answer…

    • Wow, Dennis, you are quite a writer. You have a mystical quality to your writing which has me rereading every word not wanting to misunderstand what you are saying. Thank you for reading this post. We are inspired by so many people, things, and places in our lives.
      I have really enjoyed reading about the three DDHs in your family.
      I am so sorry if you had problems entering this website. I assure you that it is a safe website and up to date on security.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy

  3. Didn’t realize how much clean up I’d leave undone…If you’d like me to edit it a bit I’m ok with that just to save yours a little more trouble than they bargained for.

    • I don’t edit comments on here. As you probably can tell I am not a great editor. Your comment was awesome and I did not notice the need for edits.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy

    • For readers, A Disclaimer: All edits, notwithstanding…feel free to employ the rule of thumb for my errors within… “..the First Shall Be Last and the Last Shall Be First..” – Holy Bible, King James Version

      Or,

      ” Strike That!…Reverse That! ” – Gene Wilder, in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory

    • You do not need a Disclaimer, you do not make errors on here. I am the one who needs the disclaimer my typing actually is awful.
      God Bless you,
      Nancy

  4. Hey Nancy,
    It took me just a bit longer than I’d hoped, to check out this post from among the others in your DIY Blog. Wanted you to know as for me catching them all, that’ll follow as I notice I spend a few minutes more on your page, for every visit I make!
    I was instantly curious when I saw your title as part of my feed. Decided I’d just send it on over to my wall until I’d had the chance and the time to read it at my own pace for whatever it spoke to, you know? In hopes that however it is or comes about, the words I’d use to introduce your story would do it service. For you and my friends who might enjoy taking a look see…yet, surprisingly…as I’m here to share with you, it didn’t work out in exactly that way!
    The first thing was I’d be startled! Realizing within seconds exactly what I needed to write to say! “Whoa…wait a sec, that ain’t how it’s supposed to work Den…”, I remember thinking but for the time that took, it was already too late! I’d written the intro already and then shared it to my friends and my wall. So were the five words I’d write absolutely ….appropriate? Well, there I go getting ahead of myself! You see, as soon I shared it, I realized there was no way it was an appropriate share! I just knew I couldn’t leave it hanging there. So I quickly went to my wall and clicked the link.
    OMG! All I’d wanted to do was to read this one little story from your DIY series! But nooooooo….!! Instead, I must’ve accidentally entered the proper number and sequence of cookie acknowledgement as I’d instantly be sent hurtling through a virtual blackhole which would have cruising while trying to catch my breath around the rings of Saturn!! Wherever it is that things you’d just put the finishing touches to make right go… once only to end up in the virtual oblivion we all know!! Never to be seen or heard from again. But then I gues I got lucky. I must’ve clicked another equally random number of cookie boxes for the sequence to throw me back! Only…it wasn’t your blog nor was it my page! Nope…the next page I’d see would only be for a fraction of a second more than just long enough to know , ” Yeah!…. , ….No!” I’d warped onto a white page that’d only use a few Bold black fonts, followed by about the same number of even Bolder, red fonts saying ” Warning…you’ve entered a page which cannot be trusted…it’s been determined that this pages purpose is to mine your data :O ”Danger Will Robinson! Danger!
    Now, I know what X marks the spot might really signify…”Don’t bury your treasure here, let us do it for you!” I immediately x-ed out and pretty much, out of sheer relief decided I’d had enough and wouldn’t risk it anymore until at least, I could run it by the admin of your blog page. Only then to find…Now…I’m way beyond an average level of curiosity!
    Were the words I wrote as an introduction to sharing one title of many, and then only as a spontaneous reflection of whatever you’d written before I’d even have the chance to read it!?
    Made me think that maybe the notes I make to myself, might sometimes… not necessarily be… (spooky snare drum roll quietly begins, quickly rising, increasing in volume, almost too loud before suddenly ending… as the sharp report of a perfect rim shot, fired!) …my own!!!
    Well, as was correctly predicted by your team, I’d find my way back to “your page”
    …phew!! I loved this one Nancy…and for every good reason you’d share! of your history as would be set upon you to learn about. A rea gift, if anyone were to ask how things happen as they often do!
    For as you’ve done before…I’d soon be instantly transported to another time of my own life…this time recalling the man who hired me at twelve, to take care of his animals while he was out of town. I read the name of your late husband’s ancestor, his grandfather Lester Stockwell Henderson.
    I heard the most unforgettable sound in that moment! Of one of the Birds I’d take care of for a weekend…all gorgeous specimans with all their feathers replete with every color that was part of the majesty of their genus All owned by Mr. Stockwell!… Steve Stockwell, to be exact! He would teach my brothers and I a thing or two about how to get along with certain types of fowl as it were, foul as also, some birds are prone to be! He didn’t give them names like yours or mine he’d say because, They were Educational ! The bid beige chicken a Hen… he’d teach us was friendly enough to hypnotize…he called her…” Chapter One”, The Stunning Irridescent Blue-Green Peacock, he’d say we best keep an eye on because, if he did manage to get out of the enclosure… it could result in weeks of hearing ” Ah AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, Ah AHHHHHHHHHH Ah AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! all over our little valley , day and night, 24/7
    He was “Chapter II ”. Finally, the foulest fowl of the lot , the meanest Bird of ’em all…Especially, if you paid him any any attention at all…or dared to look to him directly in the eye…A robust, 47 pound, White Tom Turkey he’d call “Chapter III”, but also the one all us boys had come to know as ” Run for your freakin’ Life….!!”

    I just wanted to let you know Nancy, between the time “I couldn’t read” your story and this morning when I finally did, I’d also repost a memory from my life. I’d posted for the first time only last year as remembrance to my late Aunt. It was about about my daughters’ great grandmother on my father’s side of the family. She was the first DDH, my father, a combat Marine Gunny SGT in Korea, the second DDH and then of course…yours truly the last born Third which is kind of funny…for there never having been a Junior my Dad would name as a son, as the reason why I got his initials! Trying to find his way through his own family history with the help of all history of of her husband’s family, my grandfather Mazel Dean and who’d marry the girl who’d hithiked her way across the country from New York, and who my late Aunt’s children called Grandma Lulu (Dorise Parkes)! Always in threes…my Dad would say, which is pretty significant I’d say for the number of stories behind any one of the three generations that’d made the man you married. Mostly though, I believe… for the love that apparently has the power to find three ways into the hearts of people who think they’d like to write… like you Nancy, and maybe like me! I’m dying to hear what you think, Nancy? And about the words I’d feel honored to introduce your story with…is this what you believe as inspired? “You may have the answer…” Loveyabye!

    • Dennis, my biggest inspiration to write has come from God. The books I have mentioned in my blog I read a few years before finding Frank’s letters and each book includes letters.
      When I found Frank’s letters then reread, I realized that the content which was in them was not just for me but meant for all.
      God has made it very clear to me that He has a purpose for the writing of this book. Do I know that purpose? No, but I don’t need to, I just go to the computer, type, and trust God completely to help me put the words up on the screen that He has a purpose for.
      My Widow’s blogs have always been sharing experiences with others of things I have done while laughing at myself but the last two blogs, including this one, Soul and Inspiration, took me by surprise because of the depth of sharing the more serious side of my feelings.
      I love your words of introduction for my blog.
      God Bless you and thank you for your comments.
      Nancy

    • Well then Nancy, I will claim them as mine! Yet only as long as you’ll also agree that I do so on behalf of “your understanding” of the Who, How, and Why Not? Of What it is… inspires the countless Souls, over the course of existence itself to write of a purpose as opposed to for a purpose. Of the One, the Only, “…Benefit Of The Doubt…”, of an
      eternally curious heart, of Love “!

    • Dennis, I really love your comments on here. You inspire me to think about what you say before I answer you. Thank you for your comment.

    • God Bless you,
      Nancy

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