Two summers ago something very special happened. Over Independence Day weekend I was able to travel with my parents and my Grandma Margaret to the small town of Kathryn, North Dakota.
I know what you’re thinking, that doesn’t sound very exciting. You’re wrong; it was amazing! You see, grandma grew up in Kathryn and I have heard stories about this place all my life.
Before my grandpa passed away his favorite story to tell was how he had to go all the way to North Dakota to find a wife. The circumstances surrounding my grandparents meeting and subsequent marriage and life in Wisconsin is a story all its own – a story I’ve started writing, so you might just get to read it one day!
However, I digress. Back to this story. We picked up my grandma’s sister Addy, who lives in LaMoure, and drove all over eastern North Dakota looking at the places they grew up and spent time. Of course I photographed everything and my mom was kind enough to take notes for me.
Of all the places we went, Waldheim Lutheran Church was one of the most special. Built in 1886, this beautiful church was where my relatives attended so many years ago.
My grandma’s mom died when grandma was just six years old. When they got older, grandma and Addy, used to put fresh flowers on her grave every week. They would walk from their home above the Sando Bar in Kathryn to the cemetery at Waldheim Lutheran Church, a distance of about 4 miles.
As I walked through the cemetery I looked for familiar names: Sando, Eidsvig, and Jensen. However, I wasn’t just looking for familiar names, I was looking for one name in particular. My name.
My grandma’s mother’s name is my name. I was looking for my Great Grandma Josephine. Finally I found it. John and Josephine Sando. I sat down next to their gravestone and as I looked at the beautiful church across the yard I remembered the stories I had heard, just that weekend, about Great Grandma Josephine and many other relatives I never got the chance to meet.
Today I am thankful for this photograph of a special place, a beautiful old building full of memories and stories I will never know this side of Heaven. I find hope in the faith of those who came before me, and I’m thankful for the strong foundation they built for me and my family.
And that my friends, is the story of how I captured Waldheim Lutheran Church. Click to Tweet!
Until we meet again,
P. S. (Don’t forget to go to the Behind the Photo Fridays to vote for next week’s photo!)