Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Lest We Forget"

Hello, blogging world. It's been a while.

Don Fridae,
Photo from "Lest We Forget 1932"
College Yearbook
A little over ten years ago, my great-grandfather Don Fridae passed away. He was ninety-five years old.  That's him at left. I knew him when I was younger, before he passed. I remember him joking, I remember his tan and fit legs, I remember that he liked lions, and I remember that he taught me how to play hearts on his little computer. I was curious enough to try to play the game by myself, but he taught me tricks, and ways to beat the game.

It's interesting, though. He is still teaching me.

Here's a quote from my Grandpa Fridae that my mother gave me today:
"I have had a happy, full lifespan reaching and challenging the high peaks, scraping and gleaning the low valleys, and savoring the minutes in between."
- Don Fridae/Dimitru Fritea

At six years old, Grandpa Fridae came over to the United States of America from Romania with his mother. Although he was the youngest of seven children, he was the only one to come on this trip (the eldest was already in the United States, and the 5 others stayed home in Romania). Perhaps the mother felt that once she got over to the U.S. it would be easier to bring the rest of her children.

I think about how I live two states away from my siblings, and how I miss them. I miss their sweetness, their humor, their talents, their voices, their noises, their messes, all of it. Sometimes I miss them so much, it brings me to tears. In order to get past the pain of missing them, I talk about them.

"Annual" Monterey Bay Picture Taken With Dad's Cellphone, 2012
Back: James, Drake, Mom (Renee), Racer
Front: Dad (Scott), Me, Lexie, Terra
I talk about my siblings non-stop. I love Terra with her grace and easy-going attitude, Drake with his brain and musical abilities, Racer with his sweetness and simple strength, Lexie with her selflessness and beauty, and James with all his spunk and cunning. I love them. They have amazing potential.

My great-grandfather did not get that chance in his mortal life to learn and grow with his siblings. He had his challenges, his low valleys, and he went through them virtually alone. Because of this, he drew faith and strength from the religion. And he rose above those low times and, savoring each moment, worked to get back up high again.

What an example. I reflect back on my youth and I regret not asking him more about his life, and who he was.

But I am still learning from him. I believe that there is a life after this mortality. I believe that through certain ordinances performed on this earth, families can be sealed to each other for eternity. And I believe that my heart has been turned to my Grandpa Fridae's; he has already spent mortality apart from his siblings, must he spend eternity alone as well?

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. - Malachi 4:5-6
The Lord has promised to plant in your hearts the promises given to the fathers and that your hearts would be turned to the fathers so that the earth would not be utterly wasted at His coming (see D&C 2:2–3). Your technical skills are a partial fulfillment of this prophecy, and I hope you are feeling a sense of urgency about this work. You were born in this age to do temple and family history work. Your family needs your help. Your ward or branch needs your help in this important responsibility. - Julie B. Beck, "This is Your Work"
I have been learning more about family history work. It is an exciting (and overwhelming) endeavor! There are so many interesting stories to hear, and so many hearts to know. I am grateful for the blessing of technology in this day and age where I can search with ease to learn of those who came before me.

I learned of a new website today, called "", which syncs with a member's FamilySearch account to visually display the work that has been done and can still be done.

Here's mine:

I know it's hard to see, but I'm the circle in the middle. The blue is my father's father's line, the green my father's mother's. The red is my mother's father's line, and the yellow is my mother's mother's-- the Fridae's.

I have some work to do.

And I know that I will be savoring every minute.


  1. ok, you are the second friend in the past TWO WEEKS that has mentioned this site... as soon as i get back from visiting my husband, i believe i need to check it out.

    also, i love your family, even if i only know 4 of you. you guys are awesome.

  2. Wonderfully said, Cebre. Being my Grandpa Fridae and living in the same town, he was an ever-present part of my childhood and on into adulthood. I have many great memories of going over to their house. He was a very kind and personable man, and he made us kids feel important. I can remember watching sporting events on TV with him, and talking baseball. It was very nice seeing Grandma Fridae on our trip to Willits this past December. I showed our kids the old house on State Street where they lived, and where I believe your Grandma Dixie Southwick lived (or right near there) as a high school student, and your Grandpa Jack drove by as she was walking home from school one day and asked her out. He had to hurry, because it's only a few blocks from the school. We named our son Jonah after Grandpa Fridae, with the middle name of Dimitri. Thanks for this tribute to him and to all of our ancestors. Kudos!