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.
5 thoughts on ““Is This You, World….””
Sister in Christ Jesus Marcia! What a great family and historical story to boot! Great-grandmother Ella was certainly a great servant of the Lord and took on adversity with certainty and hope in her heart always! It sure was some great untapped talent to the world’s eyes not sharing in it as we can do so easily these days but knowing and now seeing this lovely poetic music she wrote shows us her talent was a gift from God; so it never went missing to Him and I’m sure in Heaven she is a special voice in God’s family doing all the greatest things she could do as an earthly servant but amplified to a heavenly eternal order! It appears to me that all of that poetry and those beautiful thoughts in her heart and soul were constantly energizing her to carry on in all the difficult times she lived through; she must have been such an inspiration to all around her! What a precious lovely lady and I’m very moved by this great human family story you shared! And, with all the ministries being performed by your relatives there were blessings and graces coming constantly, and still do I’m sure because of their humble service to the Lord. Now you and others in your family tree are carrying the torch forward and doing a fine job too! Reminded me of what my grandma told me about all the preserving and cooking she did along with raising her 8 children alone when grandpa fell ill after the war and the loss of their eldest son; then him being lost in an accident. Thank you Dear Sister in Christ, it’s all something I will never forget now! God Always Bless You and Yours!
Brother in Christ Jesus,
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Thanks so much, Lawrence, for your kind words and encouragement.
Always Sister Marcia; you were of course inspiring and so genuine as always which I appreciate deeply in my heart. You are such a special child of God even much like your special great grandmother, but you in ways she couldn’t express as you now can, for all to appreciate more fully in this time of many gifts of facility God has bestowed upon us in this time!
Have a Blessed Weekend with Your Fine Beautiful Family!
In Christ Jesus,
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