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The End of the Journey

These last few days, I began to retrace my steps. It has been two weeks since I had reached my destination. On the Sunday after I had reached New Hampshire, “The Car that Ran on Prayers”, stopped. It stopped starting.  I had a bad feeling about what seemed to be a “minor” fuel-flow issue. The Bishop in the area who I called when it initially stopped on Saturday (I was able to keep it running after the sun went down, by “double peddling it” and got it to church the next day). After finding out that the spark pIMG_20170421_153144_070lug wires were ORIGINAL from 1983, I had a feeling that the fuel filter might also be original. He had agreed and purchased a filter for me, but didn’t find himself with the time to replace it once it’s location was discovered. It was soon towed to a shop, where it has remained for over a week while they have been doing anything and everything they can to figure out what is the problem, while the problems seem to multiply.

Today is my third Sunday in this area, Testimony Sunday. Boy, do I have a testimony. But can I put it into words? That small, still voice telling me to just go the shortest way to New Hampshire. Don’t take the freeway, keep it under 60 mph. That small still voice that guided me and comforted me when the job I thought I had didn’t pay and I was left to shoulder the expenses of the trip on my own. The God that I, and so many friends prayed to on my and the car’s behalf. It was not only the car that ran on prayers, but my mind and body as well. Jesus was, indeed, my co-pilot. He guided me wherever I traveled. He told me, through the Spirit, which way to turn. On those occasions when I took the wrong turn, He would force my steering wheel. One of those times was in Kernersville, North

IMG_20170501_014740

Sunrise in Kernersville, North Carolina

Carolina, when the car would not go past a certain milepost, no matter how many times I tried.

That was where a tune-up and a few other minor repairs were performed, and I met a Bishop who called himself “Charlie.” Bishop Charlie is a man who is young enough to be my son, but as I poured out my tales of woe to him, he listened with the ears of a father. He used the Priesthood in a caring manner to comfort me with a blessing. Bishop Charlie also gave me the gift of meeting a woman who was serving our Heavenly Father in the midst of her own struggles. The wonderful Relief Society President of their ward had been stricken with that awful “c word.” An orange bracelet on my arm still reminds me to keep that Sister in my prayers.

It was in Kernersville where I followed many impressions, including one to go into the chapel early. I routinely like to be at the church that I am attending, early, but I tend to “hang out” in the foyer for a time. This time I was in the chapel when a wonderful Sister who had baked the Sacrament bread offered me one of the 3 extras that she baked for friends in the Ward. Later that day, I broke my fast with the same bread that I tooIMG_20170501_015133k at Sacrament, and I can only echo the little boy who sat with his parents on the bench in front of me in church, “YUMMY bread!!!!”

When I left Kernersville, I took a different route out of town. The car continued, purring like a kitten through the rest of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Vermont and then New Hampshire before it began acting up again.

Before Kernersville, I spent a lot of time in South Carolina hunting up a bit of genealogical history. During a middle of the night perusal of my family tree on FamilySearch.org, I discovered that one of my “brick walls” was born in South Carolina. Married in Rowan County, North Carolina, Rebecca Wassin reported that she had been born in South Carolina. I searched the history rooms at libraries and I scoured microfiche in thIMG_20170501_014619e state archives, but it was to no avail. I could not find any record of her family. What I did find was a personal awakening about our nation’s history in the early 1800s before the Civil War.

While in South Carolina, I was invited to stay with a wonderful Sister named Leanna after the Women’s Session of General Conference. She had two dogs also and our dogs became friendly as we also developed a friendship. I stayed a few days before a personal situation caused me to need to be in an environment I could control due to my mental illness. But I remain incredibly thankful for her generosity.

Before leaving Florida, after Jacob left heading back to Washington, I was having issues with the publisher of the magazine I started this trip writing for, when Sunday came along. Being left without the funds promised, I felt quite discouraged. I was in a city called Palm Bay. That was where I met a Sister named Nikki and her family. I had beenIMG_20170501_014131 more open about the fact that I was living in my car, than I had been in most of my church visits. I don’t know why, I just felt compelled to be a bit more open on that particular Sunday.

Nikki invited me to dinner, then her daughter gave up her bedroom for the night and the dogs and I were invited to stay over. It was a blessing that was so appreciated. The night before the dogs and I were attacked by mosquitoes that were quite gigantic in the Volvo where it was too warm to put the windows up. I was covered in bites and so were the dogs. The next day, Nikki and her children took me to Walmart and purchased a cart full of fresh fruits and other necessities that were quite needed. I was completely humbled. Not as humbled, however, as the fact that weeks later during text conversations with Nikki, she shared with me that her children still keep me in their prayers. Specifically praying that someone will pay me for my writing. These are the things that hit me right in the “feels” as the kids say nowadays.

After we left Palm Bay, a bit more set for our travels, we continued north in Florida. I was in DeLand when I was contacted by a Sister from “across the pond” who had read my story about being “Transient in Trump’s America.” She had a bit of “extra cash” as she put it and really wanted to help me out. I was torn. As much as I have received from others, I HATE asking for help. I REALLY long to be on the OTHER side of providing for others, I dislike the situation I am in currently not being able to completely provide for myself or have anything extra to give to others. She persuaded me over a couple of days and I finally accepted her help. Jean had made a point of explaining that she had been in my situation and she wanted to pay forward the help that she had received.

IMG_20170501_013831After that explanation, I finally consented to accepting her help. It was a major blessing. With Jean’s help, I was able to finance a week at a campground, taking a much needed time-out from traveling that coincided with a week break from my classes.  It also ended up giving me an opportunity for some major self-care as I fought off some of the worst allergies and chest cold that I had experienced in my travels that far.

There have been friends that I have met on Facebook and on other trips that I have been able to visit along the way. Those visits have been, for the most part, limited to a few hours. That isn’t what this trip has been about. This trip was about making it to New Hampshire to watch the first person in my family graduate from a University.IMG_20170501_015048

I will be walking the day before my daughter, but won’t finish my classes until August. My daughter, my youngest child, remains the first person in our family to graduate from college. It will be the best Mother’s Day present in history to watch her walk across that stage and be presented with her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.  All of the blessings that I have received on the way here have all lead to that. The goal when I left Arizona where my second divorce was finalized and I was left with nothing to my name except the Volvo and my dogs was to get to New Hampshire before Mother’s Day.  I have made it to New Hampshire. I was only able to do so with an incredible amount of help from God and all his angels on this earth. I am more than blessed and I appreciate each and every one of them.

(Also posted on MaggieSlighte.com)

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Four Years After Baptism

 

On March 23, 2013 I was baptized. March 23 of this year came around and I was visiting Columbia, South Carolina. It seemed a fitting day for a temple trip. After all, I was in the area hunting up ghosts of my ancestors.

During a middle of the night genealogy session spurred by The Spirit, I was reminded that one of my “brick walls” was my 4th great-grandmother, “Becca Wassin,” on my mother’s mother’s side. She had stated in her marriage record to her husband Solomon Richardson that she was born in South Carolina, but after several searches and reading more probate record archives than I would have liked from the mid 1800s (a rough awakening for this “northerner”); I could not find her family in South Carolina. Her marriage bond was found in Rowan County, North Carolina at the Rowan County main library,  but I could not tie her to any family in South Carolina to any degree of certainty.

The original marriage bond for Solomon Richardson and Becca Wassin

I decided to make an appointment for a baptism session for myself after my regular session. It proved to be a very spiritual evening to celebrate my milestone of 4 years in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


A few hours before my sessions, I recorded this video of reflection and testimony at the Columbia, South Carolina Temple. Enjoy

 

Writing or Righting Personal Histories

What is the right way to write one’s life?

What is the proper way to remember another person’s life?

With what filters do we present our lives and those of whom we’ve shared; to our descendants?

Is it proper to filter out the times when children of God entertained demons of pride, vanity, ambition, depression, doubt & fear; resulting in addictions and abuse?
IMG_20140428_140703_115Is it proper to “white wash” a personal history?

Does it negate or minimize the triumphs of the abused and oppressed??

How do we maintain an Eternal Perspective when writing our personal and family histories?

I began pondering these questions and more in regards to writing family histories a while ago. When Family Search implemented their “stories & Life Sketch” portion of Family Tree; it was a topic that rarely left my conscious thinking.

As I have alluded to in previous blog posts, I am a survivor of early childhood abuse.  I contemplate if there is a purpose, now that I am working on forgiving my abusers, to remember the abuse I sustained at their hands.1504931699038

When started the process of forgiveness, I began remembering the happy times. Christ says that when He forgives us, He will not remember our sins. Then He states that we are commanded to forgive our brother.
Is continuing the legacy of abuse, through documentation and stories, true forgiveness?

Then there are those stories that made it into documentation anyway. The newspaper articles that pieced the horrors of PTSD together after my hero-grandfather’s WWII service brought up painful emotional scars for my aunt, but yet helped me to understand the method and timing of his death.

1315904093466Either way, I don’t believe you can write a history about someone without trying to emulate the forgiveness of Christ. To attempt to understand that your ancestor or whomever you are writing about, is a Child of God, first and foremost, with challenges like all of us.

WRITING A PERSONAL HISTORYChristmas 1991 in Las Vegas Typing recipe cards fo

I was reading a blog yesterday, and I remembered my own fairly recent decisions to document my own happier times through journaling. The failed attempts at journaling from my youth and young adulthood had been filled with lamenting and usually anger at my now ex-husband. All that they seem to hold were negative entries. Including times when I struggled with the deepest of depressions.

That was something I realized I did not want to leave to my descendants. I tried to begin looking at my life from the perspective of my grandchildren.  I used this when I needed to find the grace to handle ex-drama right before my Baptism.

IMG_20130207_143606This change in perspective came with a change in habits as well. Over the past few years I began taking paper (usually a composition book) and a pen with me wherever I go.

It has been in my journals where I have learned to talk to God. Journaling has been a form of prayer for me. It was where I learned to converse with my Heavenly Father.

During the first years of my conversion, in these past few years before I came to The Church, there was God. My Savior, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost whom I called upon in my prayers frequently. Through my journaling, I learned to talk to Him, through Them.

I learned to become quiet. I learned to listen and ponder. Then, I would write my observations.

When I found the Gospel and began taking lessons from the

Holy Bible

Missionaries; I reveled in my alone time. Time to ponder, study The Scriptures, pray and write.

I continued to write. I wrote during Sacrament Meeting and in Relief Society. I wrote at the dog park and at stop lights. More than once, I pulled over the car to write down something that caused a smile to cross my face.

I often look back at those journals. Journals I keep, finding it necessary to eventually label and organize them. Easily referred back to by date and circumstance (pre-baptism/post).

IMG_20130208_134151Many of them have post-it flags still denoting poetry and prose yet to transcribe, expound upon and share.

Heavenly Father, through the The Holy Ghost, has a way of guiding me to revisit my own journal entries at times.  More often than not, it is to remind me of a scripture verse or General Conference talk that impressed something upon me and it has come time for me to read that advice.

As I look towards the task of writing life sketches for those of my ancestors, I also acknowledge the challenge of writing my own.  To condense many lives into a quick and appropriate “Life Sketch.” What do I want my grandchildren’s grandchildren to know about me?

This is the question I ask myself constantly.1915-The-Slighte-Boys-Thomas-Percivil-7-George-1-Ray-10_thumb.jpg

I know the obstacles I have overcome, I know the lessons I’ve learned; I seek my Lord’s guidance in filtering what generations to come do not need to know, or repeat.

My One and Only Sibling

Apparently last week was “International Siblings Day” Facebook. After looking it up on Wikipedia, I discovered that it wasn’t invented by Facebook, and I felt bad that I had missed the opportunity to tell the world about my amazing relationship with my brother. My one and only sibling. Me and my little brother

The Book of Mormon works in mysterious ways. So does our Heavenly Father. When I was learning the lessons getting ready to be baptized, my brother was also undergoing an immense amount of repentance and pain. Heavenly Father began to soften my heart towards my family again. In particular, towards my brother who I had shut out of my life during his involvement in drugs and then prison.

When I was repenting and contrite upon my knees asking my Heavenly Father for forgiveness, I was also asking Him to bless my family, especially my little brother who was suffering the worse loss a person could imagine. Not only the loss of his child; but the loss of a child, barely an adult, for whom he already felt guilt in regards to his absence while that child was younger. I could not imagine his pain.

I was impressed, since it had been many years since we had even spoken, to write a letter to him. Since I was aware that he had previously investigated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was also impressed to include a Book of Mormon.

ImageThe other items I included with my letter were a book of stamps so that he could write anyone he wanted to, as well as one self-addressed stamped envelope. I wanted a reply.

The letter with the Book of Mormon reached his residence at an inpatient facility that was mandated by his probation. His return letter indicated that he was also on the path to a baptism. His, by a church near his treatment home.

My brother and I continued to correspond for his remaining time in treatment. When he returned to the area, against the advice of many who remembered the demonic influences in his life and how he embraced them, I decided to meet with him and get to know my little brother again. It had been decades since we had spent a good amount of time alone. The last time we spent time together at all was during a holiday and it ended in disaster and drama. Image

My little brother was born to our mother and father when we were living in Port Townsend. It was 1970, and I was almost 4 years old. When our parents divorced almost a year after his birth, we remained with mom. It was the two of us against the world. Usually also against our parents, using one against the other like typical children of divorced parents in the 1970s. Only I was allowed to beat up my brother, and I would beat up anyone else who tried. Yes, I was the type of big sister who volunteers in her baby brother’s kindergarten class. I loved that kid.

Life in our lives wasn’t easy. An angry, abusive step father as well as a biological father who vacillated between being absent and being the worse types of abusive were the father figures we had. Our mother loved us and loved God. She tried to expose us to many different churches so that we could choose for ourselves. This was quite a difficult task, when if we mentioned to dad that we had attended one, we could end up with not only a spanking, but a ring-side seat at a yelling match from hell between our parents. But we attended anyway. As many times as dad asked each of us to deny our God, it was only with a wink to each other and our fingers crossed. Me saying my prayers for forgiveness as well.

Through the typical drama of abusive homes of divorce in the 1970s and 1980s, my brother and I had each other. We could talk about anything. Satan had his way, in many ways in our homes. Finally, a fog of drugs and abuse took my brother from me.

ImageAs he furthered his way into the drug world, I separated my young family from his. As his family was being raised by other people, I kept him in my prayers. Then there would come short times when he would sober up, or attempt to hide the fact that he wasn’t; and seek to come around. It broke my heart every time I was forced to shut him out of our lives. For my children’s sake, it was all I knew how to do.

It was my little brother who called me on an August 2000 morning, to inform me of our father’s suicide. Neither one of us had been informed officially, our father’s only children, and we were not informed until 10 months after  his death on the weekend of my birthday in 1999. After tearful hours on the phone with his widow, I learned that the timing was not coincidental. In the 15 years that I had not seen or spoken to our father, his abusive obsession with me had not wavered. Our father’s suicide was 50 years after his own father had taken his life when our father was 4.

Major Depressive Disorder, among other challenges, run in our family. Both my brother and I have dealt with this challenge ourselves. After our father’s death, my brother and I saw each other a few times. He was in and out of prison, and I was raising a family. Our mother kept on me to get in contact with him through the years, but it wasn’t until that Book of Mormon that I was impressed to do my best to fix what Satan and our temporal father had attempted through his abuse to tear apart.

ImageThrough the summer after I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, my brother and I began to spend a lot of time together. It was the first time since childhood that we had really had the opportunity to get to know one another. I, for one, found in my little brother a friend I never imagined. Someone who knew me, as I knew him. Someone I could give another chance to. Someone I wanted around me.

After a summer full of blessings of the new friendship of siblings, we were put to the test. In October I had been impressImageed that I had $300 put aside to spend on transportation and I had been frustrated at my lack of a car.  I asked my brother to come with me to see if I could find a car to finance. I had the afternoon before an evening meeting at the Family History Center for my new calling.

As we walked, we crossed a double train track. There was clear visibility both directions for at least a quarter mile. We crossed without hesitation. The Holy Ghost was a wonderful companion while car shopping, and amazed my brother by witnessing to us certain flaws to watch out for in each car. I was happy I had prayed that morning. Everything was wonderfully clear.

On our return trip, after having no luck in the auto venture, we came back the same way. Only this time, there was a train stopped on the tracks closest to us. We looked down each way, the train was at least a quarter mile long in both directions; I thoImageught to myself it was going to be a long walk.

While I was thinking this to myself, my little brother did what he had always done while I was in charge of watching him while we were kids: embraced his impulsivity. He said “let’s go” and proceeded to go under the train, stopping to get up between the train tracks before leaning under the train, to beckon me towards him.
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I was in absolute shock. I don’t remember speaking at all. I do remember how wide my eyes got when I felt Satan attempt to take my brother. I heard a witness by the Holy Ghost: Come BACK NOW!!!! I frantically motioned for him to come back.

For one of the first time in our lives, my baby brother actually listened to me. As he ducked and went back under the train, we felt the ground begin to rumble; before he was standing upright on my side of the tracks, a train was passing at an extremely rapid pace on the track that my brother was nearly standing upon seconds before.

If I had followed him, and not acknowledged and obeyed The Holy Spirit, neither my brother nor I would be alive today. We were so blessed to spend the holidays together for the first time in years as a family with our only living parent, one of my children, and two of my grandchildren. We are a family and we are blessed.

With our grandma in the 70s

With our grandma, Margaret Ellen Savage Rebman in the 70s

I did end up spending that $300 on transportation, but that’s another story on the pile for another time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman of Many Wards

In the past few months, from June to December 2013, I visited countless meetinghouses, three Stake Centers, and two Temples in two states.  During that time, I was a member of no less than four different wards in two different Stakes.

Centralia Meetinghouse

I attended church every single Sunday from the time I experienced my personal revelation and prayed to know how to come closer to God in the year of 2013. I will do my best each and every Sunday in 2014 to do the same.

Many people may have assumed that I have missed here or there because they didn’t see me in Sacrament or Relief Society. Over the past several months I have had many unofficial callings. The kind where a best friend needs a friend who can take care of a dog & is knowledgeable of medical care while they recover from life-threatening illness. Or a dear family member was recently widowed and I was impressed that I could help by being closer to her and her children during the holidays. DSCN2640_cr

Another adventure that I followed God’s prompting about recently was an October trip to the LDS Tech Conference in Salt Lake City. The events that both led to that trip as well as all of the blessings of the trip itself are so incredible I have been working on an extended piece on that experience. For now I will say that if my testimony hadn’t already been enormous, I could have been converted again just by October’s experiences!

These are the “callings” I have been listening to since I was baptized in March 2013. Since July or so, I have attended what ever Ward or Stake building that I have felt impressed to as my domicile has changed. I have been richly rewarded with new friendships and blessings too numerous to count. I do thank my Heavenly Father for all of them at least nightly, though!

I have been intensely blessed with the ability to walk into a strange place and start up a conversation with pretty near anyone. My testimony seems to flow forth like a waterfall at times…. other times more like projectile vomit.
It always seems that I strike up a conversation with or offer to assist a Relief Society President or Stake President’s wife… or… just my luck, they are sitting together as I vomit forth such testimony to them both.

I love my life. It is blessed by my Heavenly Father moment by moment. He has brought so many people into my life who have helped me or allowed me to help them with just the right thing at just the right time.

Three years ago, on October 10, 2010, I began a journey across the states to visit friends who had invited me to their homes after meeting me through social media. I put my life in God’s hands at that time. He has shown me glorious blessings. I have finally made the choice to magnify my calling as a daughter of my Heavenly Father when I came to the church.

Now, after taking what a dear friend has dubbed “a religious sabbatical” for the past nine and a half months; I am planning to do what I enjoy the most (besides play with grankids) — travel and write.

I will be revisiting much of the route and many of the friends and family I first began meeting in 2010. I will also be meeting & visiting many more friends and a few newly discovered family members as well as dear family who I haven’t had the opportunity to visit in far too long.

This is also the beginning to the end: I will be finally finishing a book I started during the same period of time.

The other items that I have added to my itinerary this time are Temples and some Family History Centers in areas where my family have resided. These are the sites and events I will be sharing here during my trip.

I plan to attend the Gilbert Arizona Temple during it’s open house… a month or so before I can finally obtain my recommend. To say I am excited is quite an understatement!

I will also be attempting to make it to the Roots Tech Conference in February, but coming through the Rockies in February could be tricky, so I will continue to pray and seek His heavenly direction concerning that particular part of the trip.

The road trip is scheduled to last from early January through early March 2014; but I will continue to pray and ask for direction from my Eternal Heavenly Father and adjust my route and timeline according to His will. I will go where He wants me to go.

A Different Kind of Happy Father’s Day: Temple Work as Therapy

I am a survivor. I didn’t realize the extent of the abuse that I had survived, until repressed memories surfaced three years ago. Even before then, I knew that “Father’s Day” never conjured up the happiness in me that it seemed it ought to have.

Margaret Slighte 1970

Margaret Slighte 1970

I have experienced years of psychotherapy for the abuse I knew I sustained at both my father’s and my stepfather’s hands. But the anger and disappointment remained.

Four years ago, Father’s Day 2009 marked the violent end to my marriage of 20 years, although we wouldn’t actually separate for nine more months, nor was the divorce final until we had been married 22 years. But the marriage was over on Father’s Day.

Yet another memory for that seemingly ominous day.

 

This year is so different. Having the gift of being more in touch with my Heavenly Father, it was He that led me to a method of forgiveness for my temporal father, Ronald George Slighte.

The Temple.Seattle, Washington Temple

When I took the information for my father and for his father, both of who’s deaths had been tragedies towards our entire family simply by their manner, to the Temple; I was rewarded in abundance.

The freedom that is forgiveness. Something not many people actually achieve, as many have told me that they couldn’t imagine forgiving similar abuse. I didn’t think I had the capability either.

When I met my best friend in 2010, in him I saw a father. A real “Dad” to his kids. Even while fighting a battle with cancer, the true integrity of his motto “family is FOREVER!” shocked and entranced me. It was through him that I started learning more about God.

My path over the last three years has been a varied and confused one for much of the time. But when I was at my weakest, I put everything into God’s hands, and I was rewarded abundantly.

This year, April 20th was a very special day. I had interviewed with my Bishop, and was deemed worthy to enter the Temple on a provisional recommend to perform baptisms of the dead for my ancestors.

George Ronald Slighte, Margaret Florence Clara Slighte (nee Foley),
Margaret Thornhill Slighte (nee Walsh) & Thomas Slighte

 

I was baptized in the name of several of my female ancestors on my father’s side, including my Grandma, Margaret Florence Clara Foley Slighte McGhee King (a mouthful, I know!). Then I requested to be present when my father and his father were baptized.

The young man who was baptized in my male ancestor’s names had no idea the gift he gave me. He looked embarrassed by my tearful reaction upon hearing the names of my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, being confirmed. The Priesthood holders understood some. They passed me a tissue with understanding in their eyes.

That day I was gifted with an intense relief, but it wasn’t the end of it. I had a mind to write about it when it happened, but felt that there would be more to write about. I had no idea how much my feelings, and then my life, would change.

By being able to release the anger and pain I felt towards my father, and then the disappointment in him regarding his death; and give him up to God to be taught what he needs to know on the other side, I feel free. I no longer carry the burden on my back of his abuse or his suicide after not having seen or talked to him for over 17 years.

In the past few months since taking their names to the temple, I have been rewarded with the absence of the memories that had come to me after having been repressed most of my life. God has granted me the gift of the ability to remember the happy times. The times that God was there in our lives.

My father is now in God’s hands.

Margaret, her mother, her father, and her Uncle Johnny (Ron Slighte's brother)

Margaret, her mother, her father, and her Uncle Johnny (Ron Slighte’s brother) 1968

My Heavenly Father will take care of it all. To both of them, I say “Happy Father’s Day. I love you.”

But it is my Heavenly Father, to whom I say, “Thank you, for letting me be a “Daddy’s Girl” again!”

His heavenly Love and Lighte to all on Father’s Day.

George Ronald Slighte

While I was pregnant with my first child, in 1983, at the Golden Gate National Cemetary, I first saw his name in stone:

Slighte, George Ronald,
b. 06/27/1915, d. 06/05/1949,
PVT CANNON CO 128 INFTY 32 DIV
WW II

I had never seen his face, but he was my grandfather. My father was four years old when he passed. All my life I remember hearing that my brother would have been named “George,” but he wasn’t a man you would name a child after.

THIS, is my personal testimony to say that George was a man who many thought was a hero. Just the kind of man you name a child after.

George Ronald Slighte enlisted in the United State’s Army Infantry five days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

He was born in Port Hope, Ontario, to Thomas and Margaret Slighte (Nana and Papa Slighte to me). The family moved to California when he and his two older brothers Thomas and Ray where children.
This “short little Canadian” was VERY passionate about his adopted country. 


He met my grandmother, Margaret Florence Clara Foley, while in high school. 

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was bombed on December 7, 1941. It took George only five days to get his affairs in order, and sign up to serve his country.

While he went to war, my grandmother awaited his return. 

The 32nd was his division in the Army. They are called the Red Arrows.

George was paralyzed from an injury incurred at the hands of a Japanese rifle butt to the back of his head in New Guinea. Four Natives carried him for 8 days over the Owen Stanley Mountains to safety.

He spent three months in a hospital in Australia before being returned to the states where he spent more time in a hospital in San Diego before being released to his wife.

My father, Ronald George Slighte was born February 8, 1945, his younger sister was born in February 1947.

By June 1949, the horrendous pain from his head injury and the horrors of PTSD finally got the better of him.

He gave his watch to my four-year old father, closed the door to his home office, and removed the offending object with his service revolver.

That last part was the only thing I had known about my grandfather when I was a child.
They could have left that part out, it was the part that has injured the delicate sensibilities of many in our family for generations.

George R. Slighte was a war hero. He was injured horribly, both physically and psychologically,  in World War II. Four New Guinea natives carried him for EIGHT days so that he may see his dear family again. When he returned to the states, my father then my aunt, were conceived.

Without those four men, who the records tell me were called “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” by our army, who carried my grandfather to safety, my grandchildren and so many people who I love, including me, wouldn’t be here.

Thank God for Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.

Thank God also for distant cousins.
After I sent out an inquiring email to a distant cousin who had posted part of our family tree online; I was rewarded and blessed with emails and photos of the family I had never seen.

Thanks to my cousin Kathy, here is a photo of my grandfather, George Ronald Slighte, my grandmother, Margaret Florence Clara Slighte (nee Foley), his mother, my great-grandma “Nana” (“Maggie”) Margaret Thornhill Slighte (nee Walsh) and  his father, my great-grandfather, Thomas A. Slighte

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