This is my Great-grandmother Ella Purvis-Preston. She birthed and raised 5 boys, my paternal Grandfather being son #3.
Her husband, my Great-Grandfather, died in 1933 (Granddaddy was 10), so she was left with 5 boys during the heart of the Great Depression. To hear my grandfather tell it, though, they were not really affected by the depressed economy. Those were the days of raising, growing and preserving your own food, plus, as he told me “when you have no money to begin with, you have no money to lose “.
All 5 of her boys were servants of the Lord, even so far as to help physically erect (build) what is now known as Ebenezer Church of Christ in Salvisa, KY. Sons #1, 2 and 3 grew up to be elders in their congregations, #4 was both a minister in America and a missionary to the Philippines and #5 was a minister and performed my wedding.
Back in the day, the Prestons were known locally as a singing family. Nothing famous, just people who enjoyed singing to the Lord and had decent enough voices to sing at special services. It was generally understood if someone was a Preston, they could sing.
They evidently got their musical inclinations from Great-Grandmother Ella. I recently learned she wrote music. None were ever recorded, but a distant cousin of mine (Ella was his aunt) came across sheet music for a piece she wrote and had published by Nordyke Music Publications.
Here are the words to her song:
“Oh, world of hope, peace and love, why have you flown like a dove…..winging away with the joy I knew….leaving my heart so sad and blue. (The Chorus) Is this you…world that used to be, so beautiful & fair to see, Is life real. Am I dreaming, or was it castles in the air? Awake all sweetness from repose. Unfold thy beauty like a rose. World that used to be, come back to me.. Make this again a beautiful place. (2nd verse) Keep turning at your rapid pace, taking with you this open space…bringing a hope like a golden ray turning the night…to shining day. (the song concludes with the Chorus repeated.
The date of publication is 1945. No doubt she felt weighed down and alone in her own world, let alone global events. What would she think of the world today? She certainly would weep profusely, yet the Hope of the world is a promise that WILL be fulfilled.
Only the wives of sons #4 and 5 remain today while the others are now singing in the Heavenly chorus, my grandfather being the last to go Home at the age of 93 in January 2017. But, as it is with family, a part of her remains in the those of us still here. I can’t wait to meet her.