23 January 2012


For most of my life, I didn't think that my family had any heirlooms. At least, not the kind that other people had such as a family bible. After about 25 years of researching my family history, I have recently realized that my family has a couple of them. 

One of our family heirlooms is a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Unless you live in a church, or have a private chapel, you might have a difficult time finding the right place to hang it.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus is an artists rendition of Jesus Christ and he is pointing at his heart.  The heart has swords through it and a crown on top of it and a crown of thorns wrapped around it. It's not gruesome so much as it just makes me sad to look at it. The interesting thing and why I'm calling it a family heirloom is that the original has a written list of all the members of my grandfather's family and the years they were born. My great-grandparents had 12 children, and they are listed at the bottom of this picture. So, I could say, that it's the closest thing to a family bible that we have, so far.

My mom's cousin went to the family homestead in Ireland a couple of years before I made the same pilgrimage. I didn't know mom's cousin at the time but after I had learned of him and contact was made between us at some point (I honestly don't remember how it started), I learned that he had copies of a very large Sacred Heart of Jesus picture that he had seen in Ireland. I don't know who had or has the original, maybe he does.

Anyway, He had copies made and sent one to my mom and one to her brother Buddy. Being the family archivist, mom gave her copy to me and I kept it rolled in the tube it came in. My uncle had his copy framed. After my uncle Buddy passed away, his children weren't interested in the picture so they gave it to my mom or to me.  It hung in my home office until I recently moved.  My mom had a stroke a few years ago and I am living now with my sister's family to help care for mom.  I think I'll hang the Sacred Heart in her room for awhile.