My grandma Budd was my everything. My family lived with my grandparents from the time I was eleven and I didn't leave until I got married almost ten years later. She was a huge part of my family and even my cousins would say they don't know how they could have lived without her in their lives. 

For as long as I can remember my grandparents did genealogy. My grandparents even had a calling in our church in Extractions for decades. I remember on several occasions visiting my grandpa in the dark room at the church working on names. It was intriguing and very mysterious to me at the time. I only wish that I had spent more time when I was younger learning what they did and how they did it. 

My grandma loved sharing stories of the past. I learned most of my family stories from her. I loved that she retold me the same stories a dozen time, but told them as if it was the first time. One story in particular that I could listen to a thousand times, was her and my grandpa's love story. In their late 80's they were still so in love. There was more love than I had ever witnessed in my life and probably still to this day. 

Shortly after my husband and I got married we learned that we may not be able to have children. I was devastated and after several surgies, medication and different procedures we were not able to have a baby at that time. After four years we decided that we wanted to adopt. I did get some criticism for "giving up". I had to ignore them and I knew that for me it was what we were meant to do. 

We started the adoption process and were told that it could be years, but most parents typically waited over a year before they got a child. I wanted to find something to spend my time doing. I was working, but my husband worked nights and I was alone a lot. I went over to my grandparents house one day and decided I wanted to write their love story. They were so excited and started pulling out boxes. My grandpa pulled out one box and said, "These are yours now. I have no use for them anymore." When I lifted the lid it was hundreds of letters that my grandpa wrote to my grandma during WWII. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy. I threw myself in to this new project. 

However, low and behold we didn't have to wait long for a baby. We were shocked and excited. Being a mom left me little time for my new project. It is now eleven years later and I have loved working on their story and reading their letters. It is something that will probably never be published, it is just too personal to me. 

I give my grandparents, and their love story the credit for my love of family history. I now have learned about several ancestors and their own stories. They resonate with me and have made me a different person. I want to make them proud. For all my ancestors and their trials, tribulations and sacrifices they did it for their family and posterity. It is a beautiful thing to think that there is so much more out there and when you succeed you are making thousands that came before you proud. What has impacted you in your life?