Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sepia Saturday - A Bridge of Mothers

 Frank and Julia Kujat c. 1927

Our Sepia Saturday Host, Alan Burnett, suggested a theme of something old - people, marriages etc.  The picture I have chosen is of my maternal Great Grandparents, Julia Percha Kujat and Francis Kujat.  They were probably in their late 50's or early 60's here.  That was once considered old.

I know very little about them, but I knew their daughter, my grandmother, also named Julia.  I knew she loved to grow flowers, sewed and crocheted beautifully, and cooked delicious meals.  She raised her children with love, instilled the love of God in them, and was delighted with all of her 27 grandchildren.  So, I knew my great grandparents through the traits and gifts passed down to Julia.

Julia Percha was the youngest of 6 children born to Michael and Magdalena (Hintze) Percha in German Poland in 1864. Julia came to America when she was 15.  Her family settled in the Polish neighborhoods of Detroit, Michigan. She was 20 when she married Frank.  They had 13 children, 3 of which died in infancy.

By the 1930 census, Julia was a widow living in a home she owned with several of her children. I've not located a record of her death. Julia always wore the Mother Hubbard style dress shown in the photo.  Good for her - it looks comfortable and far less constricting and restricting than the styles of the day. She changed the color to black after Frank died.

In the picture, Julia and Frank are smiling and walking close to each other - though not touching. They both look content and both appear to smile easily.

Julia had a daughter, who had a daughter who had a daughter (me) who has a daughter.  Think about this:  In order for you or I to exist today we came from an unbroken line of mother's stretching back to the first human mother that existed on the face of the Earth. You are part of a bridge of mothers who survived plague, epidemics, famine, childhood illness, medical practices that were dangerous, poverty, war, storms, travel, hardship and incredibly difficult circumstances of life long enough to birth the next generation and the next and so on.  You life depended on hundreds of mothers.  Perhaps thousands. The time and place of the first mother, our mother Eve, is still being sought by science.

This poem, written by Dorothy Hallard is a reminder of the bridge of mothers:

The Bridge

The way I walk
I see my mother walking
My feet secure
And firm upon the ground
The way I talk
I hear my daughter talking
And hear my mother's echo
In the sound
The way she thought
I find myself now thinking
The generations linking
In a firm continuum of mind
The bridge of immortality
I'm walking
The voice before me echoing behind

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers echoing behind us!


Unknown said...

A wonderful photo and beautiful tribute to the females of your family. I had never read the poem before today, but I have written it down as it is one I want to share with my daughter :) Thank you for sharing with us all.

viridian said...

wonderful post.

Howard said...

They look great fun! I love his tie.

Helen said...

A wonderful post celebrating that long line of mothers who influence us all .............

Rinkly Rimes said...

Not a mother but close relations.

Bob Scotney said...

Mothers; where would we be withou them. Lovely old photo.

Alan Burnett said...

You take the hint of a theme and work wonders with it. What a great post.

Mike Brubaker said...

Wonderful! Have a great Mother's Day!

Little Nell said...

A bridge of mothers; what a wonderful expression. I've noted the poem too! A lovely picture of two people who were very close.

Postcardy said...

The bridge of mothers is an interesting concept. Usually it is the father that is considered the more important ancestor.

Christine H. said...

I love the idea of a bridge of mothers. I had never thought of it that way, but you're right. I think I would have like Julia and Frank. They look warm and fun.

Meri said...

I did the matrilineal DNA testing and found that my "grand" mother was the woman now referred to as Ursula -- and that Cheddar Man was one of my relatives.