Sunday, December 29, 2013

Shirley Bannarn Tanksley: Positive Affirmations

Shirley Bannarn Tanksley-1967 ( photo courtesy of Shari Doyle-Chandler)

As this year comes to an end. I find myself reflecting on the past, counting my blessings, and looking forward to the new year. Clearing out the old and making room for the new. I remember my new years resolutions that I made at the beginning of this year. Talking out loud to myself..a trait that I know I inherited from my mother. I had firmly declared that this would be the year that I would take my genealogy research to the next level, I wasn't exactly sure what the next level was. I just knew that I had to do more. I told myself that I would push harder, strive to invest more time and find an improved strategy to find my ancestors.

Looking through my genealogy files I came across some papers that reminded me of my Aunt Shirley. She had given them to me several years ago. It was Thanksgiving day and my family gathered at my brother's home for dinner that year. She smiled, handed me a stack of papers and said. "Here Honey, take these papers",You will know what to do with them more than I will". I was surprised that she gave them to me. knowing how interested she was in genealogy, she had also been researching our history. The papers contained names of family members that she had written, generation after generation with birth and death dates. Included were her notes of some of her research that she had done and information on the Seminole Indians. Once again, I was being handed family information and being told that I would know what to do.

Shirley Ann Bannarn Tanksley was my mother's sister.The oldest child of Anthony Bannarn and Margaret Doyle. She passed away in May of this year at the age of 73. Growing up, we called her the Cool Auntie. A name that we made up for her because of her laid back and soft spoken personality. I never once heard her raise her voice. She was so proud of her family. Always smiling, always optimistic, she could see the sunshine even on a dark cloudy day. I've always admired her for her positive outlook on life and loving spirit. She truly believed in the power of positive thought and the power of prayer. She used to say that there was energy contained in positive and negative thoughts. Be careful of what you say. Your words carry weight, once released into the universe they have the power to change things. Speak what it is that you want into existence. You can achieve anything you want. You must see it and believe it. Positive affirmations being used to manifest change in your life.

When I reflect on this year, the resolutions that I made in the beginning. I realized that my genealogy research has indeed reached another level. I didn't even notice, It swept right past me. Somewhere in the midst of finding the Facebook group AAGSAR (African American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research), starting a blog and sharing my family history. It happened. I was at the next level. This was the improved strategy that I had been looking for.

If Aunt Shirley were here, maybe she would tell me that by talking to myself I had called what I wanted into existence. She would love the blog and would be proud that I was sharing the stories. People are placed in our lives for reason, and a season. They touch us in one way or another and become part of the story. Aunt Shirley is still with me, she is with us all. Smiling, turning cloudy days to sunshine and encouraging us with her loving, positive words and thoughts..

Aunt Shirley 2011

Denise 






© 2013 Denise Muhammad

23 comments:

  1. beautiful story.... Aunt Shirley knew exactly what to do with her findings, you are the chosen one:)

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  2. Denise, this is a wonderful post about your Aunt Shirley. She was a very beautiful lady. She knew who to pass the information about family too. You were given the charge, and doing a phenomenal job in journaling the discoveries you're making. She would be proud of you. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you. I'm trying. I have big shoes to fill. :)

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  3. Beautiful story!! She does sound like a cool Aunt. You always paint such a vivid picture, I love reading your blogs.

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate your comment. :)

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  4. Your Aunt Shirley sounds like she was a wonderful role model, and well ahead of her time in understanding the power of positive thought. You are so fortunate to have had her in your life, encouraging your genealogy work then and now.

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  5. This is a great tribute to your aunt!

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  6. This is a beautiful tribute to your Aunt Shirley. She was as beautiful as she was cool with a great smile. You can see the family resemblance between you two. How amazing that she saw in you the person who would take your family history to the next level. She is smiling on you when you write about your family. You are doing an amazing job.

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    1. Aunt Shirley was my kind of Gal! I felt like that when I last saw my Aunt Bunny, she now has Alzheimer's. Her last words to me is "Baby you Got it"!.....she was the founder of our reunion. She gave me that look. I've been carryin it on since. I see the resemblance. She saw it in you too. Great Tribute!

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    2. Thanks True. Sounds like your Aunt Bunny was so proud of you! It's an honor to be chosen to carry on the family history. :)

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  8. Nice story about your aunt! Denise...I have Carr and Dabney from VA on both sides. Let's talk!

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    1. Thanks Delores. Oh yes, we have to talk! probably cousins :)

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  9. Your Aunt Shirley knew you were the one to carry on the family research. She paint a wonderful picture of your aunt with your words.

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  10. Beautiful post Denise and I for a fact that Aunt Shirley would LOVE your blog and be very proud of you too!!

    Wishing you continued success with your family research and genealogy blogging in 2014 and beyond!

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    1. Thank you Liv, I appreciate your support. :)

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  11. I have some Tanksley's in my family tree, too! See, we already have a connection!

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    1. Wow! Yes we will definitely have to talk! :)

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