So it's been a while, but I'm sure you understand that it becomes a little busy after you get engaged. :) So a ton has happened over this break, I'm going to try to catch you guys up as much as I can over the next few posts. It really is quite interesting.
I'm directly related to William Shakespeare.
Christmas 2011 --
After bear claws, presents, and lunch with my mom, sister, Will, Uncle Barry, and Mamaw Dot, I went to Chris’s dad’s house for their family Christmas. They had already opened presents and eaten lunch, but they still had presents for me to open. I got so many presents and each one made me feel like every person thought so long about what I would personally love, then they went out and bought it. It was so special to me that Ms. Melanie, Mr. Michael, Simon and Norah, and Grandmother thought enough of me to get me as many amazing presents as they did. The present that really stuck out to me the most, for obvious reasons, was the pearls Grandmother Joyce gave me from 1942. It was the first gift I opened. I saw the little silver cardboard box and new it was going to be some piece of jewelry. When I opened it, I was stunned, elated. Initially when I opened it, of course I thought they were so beautiful and in my mind hoped with all I had that they were real and more importantly, hers; but I wasn’t certain if it was from a department store or not. It was then that I barely heard a little British voice mumble, “nineteen forty two”. I choked a little and asked, “Nineteen forty two? Is that what you said?”. After the affirmation I didn’t even know how to handle it. It was such a special gift and time to me. After I finished opening presents and everyone cleared out, Grandmother and I were sitting alone at the Collins’s dinner table. I told her once more how honored I was to receive such a significant and precious gift, and she replied with the most sincere statements I’ve ever heard. As my memory serves me, she said “Well, I love you, dear. And Michael loves you. I wanted to give these to you because I knew you would appreciate them for what they are. I wouldn’t have given them to anyone else, dear. You are very special to us. We are so glad to know you and honored to have you as part of our family.”
It hit like a ton of bricks. I was and am so honored.
We soon left his dad’s house and went to Grandma Bonnie’s house to celebrate with Dad, Rhonda, and Grandma Bonnie. It was a great time there with food, gifts, and chicken foot; but the most amazing thing was when Dad blew our minds with our family history that he had recently discovered. He got on a website called New Family Search. When he logged in he began to go further and further and further back on Grandpa Wilbur’s side.
Basically, the highlights so far (pre-reading all about it myself) are that our line goes back to 1350, the Webbs came to America six years after the Mayflower sailed over in 1620, Sir John Alexander Webb’s two daughters are William Shakespeare’s grandmothers, meaning both of William Shakespeare's grandmothers were Webbs, Sir John Alexander Webb was a knight under crazy King Henry VIII, the Webbs were of nobility and a very wealthy family, and Reverend Joseph Webb was one of ten founding fathers of Yale University. The Webbs were originally in Warwickshire, England, then when they came to America, they went to Connecticut, then Virginia, then North Carolina, then Mississippi. And after the flood of knowledge that had just washed our brains new, we found a book of all of Shakespeare’s writings and his biography in Grandma Bonnie’s attic that was copyrighted in the late 1700s and signed in the front from a man in Mississippi in the late 1800s.
I'm still blown away each time I read that paragraph above. If you're as interested as I am, you can read all about it on this website.
When Chris and I were on our way home, a few text messages came in on my phone because I apparently didn’t have service at Grandma’s. When I was checking them, I got a call from Anna Ray. We had been playing phone tag for the past couple days, so when I answered I told her all the things about my family history and the reason I had called her a few days prior. I went on and on and she finally asked if I was in town and if I was at home. I told her I was on my way and she and Ryan met Chris and me there. She took a little while to get out of the car, but when I saw her get out, I got out as well; and right there in my driveway, she walked up to me with her left hand out - engagement. I knew immediately what had happened and was so incredibly stunned. I cried a little on her shoulder and jumped and yelled in excitement and held her hand for a good long while. Let it be known that this is my best friend; and we have been best friends since the first grade. We then went into my house and told my mom and ended up staying up till 2am celebrating. Collette also came which was so beautiful. Anna and Ryan separately told me that I was the first person that she wanted to tell after her grandparents and their family’s. She said they came straight to my house and called me repeatedly until it finally went through. I am so incredibly honored. It is so special to me - the entire situation. I had no idea that I meant the same to Anna as she means to me. What an honor.
Do you have any crazy stories from Christmas? Are you related to anyone famous? I'd love to hear about it :)