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The Floods
Chapter 6 - Aunt Louise Flood, Smith


Now that we have dabbled with the understanding about where the genes of the Flood family had come to be, possibly we can get some understanding of what motivated them. The Isle of Wight being a melting pot of Vikings, Danes, Saxons must have been influential to the development of their personalities. As they became Christians, the old ways were put aside, not by just the Floods, but by so many others as well.

For generations the Flood men were named every other generation. John, Henry, back to John in the next descendant and then back to Henry. This was broken in my husband's generation. There have been no Henry in these. Rodney's father was John. John's father was Henry. John Flood and his father, Henry, are buried at the Blackwell cemetery. However, the elder John Flood, the one who lived in England, is buried in the Nardin cemetery which is a small community not too far from Blackwell, Oklahoma. The cemetery is a lovely place out on the prairie. John Flood's marker is a large one of white marble. On the front is a hand with a finger pointing toward the heavens.

As I stood looking down at the marker, I wondered, “how many people buried on American soil like this, came from another place and country.” Because this John Flood was not an early immigrant but only two generations away his marker stands today. There is nothing on it to tell of his homeland. We as family know the trail that led him here and it is recorded by other family, otherwise it would be forgotten and unknown, indeed, as the Bible makes note, “They will no longer be remembered.”

With all the archives and records of the government nothing can be kept as well as the family who knows its own history and this reminds me a bit of my own family history. We have a full Cherokee grandmother who was married to a Scot. His name is recorded but her name was Cherokee and it isn't written on the federal census archives. If we as a family didn't know the name Mary Kell, Canoles, Ross our children wouldn't know of her either. So, back to my original goal, and that is to encourage each family to keep their own history. Do not worry about being criticized for sentence structure, grammar or whatever. Write it down. Someone in your future will have the opportunity to know about their ancestors and to understand what it was that caused them to continue a good fight for what is life.

John Flood, my father-in-law, had sisters. One of the sisters was Louise Flood. Louise married Gilbert Smith. They lived in Cuba where Gilbert Smith's father had lived. Here Rodney and I were, struggling along, going to college together, when Aunt Louise came with her husband for a visit with John and Wenona Flood. I immediately liked Louise and Gilbert. There was no mistaking the quality of these people. John's sister was tall with dark hair, and just generally a striking woman. She was quiet and listened to every word spoken. After all the conversation died down she was there to pick up some, strand of the talk and weave it into something of a rare experience of her own. It might be an experience they had in China or South America or some other country we didn't know. She might then produce little gifts of rare beauty she had tucked away for us. Such a rare piece like a piece of pottery made by “Maria,” or maybe something of a lacquered bowl with 47 coats to make it have an unbelievable finish.

Louise extended an invitation for Rodney and me to come stay with them while we attended the University of Havana. This was an opportunity to say the least. We were to finish that year and come for the next school year. Of course, everyone knows what happened to Cuba. Aunt Louise and Gilbert left their beautiful home. All their China, clothing, furnishings were given up as they fled in the dead of night. Louise said a car followed them to the airport and she never knew if it was a friendly person escorting them or otherwise. All was lost, along with our possibility of having the advantage of a university degree out of Havana. No matter, it probably wouldn't be recognized anyway at this time in history. Still education is education and I for one, would have treasured the benefits of it. This small connection for me has always remained as a quiet example of how peaceful living can contribute to the progress of society.

Fighting through the battles a mother has took all my strength. The time I spent in Christian activities was all the education I would receive and that, of course, was spotty. The research required for the tiny six minutes presentations over the years did give me a way to continue with study and an ease to speak before crowds. However, since our notes were not seen or critiqued very little help was given on writing.

Nonetheless, I felt strongly enough about documenting family history to go ahead and write it down. One of the apostles made the statement that he was “unlettered and slow of speech,” can't remember which one now? He must have been effective though because look how that word was spread.In memory of Aunt Louise and her loving wish to give me an education, I can only at this late age, do nothing more than encourage each and every person, who has experienced the same life and living as I have to make an effort to record their own history. A mother and a father's role, so little respected at times but can, like a tigress or a lion go ahead to do what has to be done for their children so that they may see their ancestor's, will and desire to work for a better world for their descendants. These are the courageous stories that should be recorded, albeit, every “T” is not crossed and every comma is not correct.


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