It has been a busy, wonderful week – full of family. We gathered in Montreat with the direct descendants of Helen Ottens Schlichter to celebrate the life of her daughter, my mother-in-law, Helena Talmage.
Helen and Alfred Schlichter had two daughters. Helena’s younger sister, Betty, arrived in Shanghai in 1921. Betty never married or had children. It was Helena who increased the Schlichter line with a daughter and two sons. These grandchildren of Helen Ottens Schlichter have given her a total of eleven great-grandchildren. All but three of them managed to get here this past week.
Six of Helen Schlichter’s great grandchildren have produced fourteen great-great grandchildren. So it goes.
Helen was still living when her first four granddaughters arrived. They called her Gigi.
This lineage, being from daughters , has not passed along the Schlichter name. But we pass along so much more through our genes. Helena’s first grandchild, Laney, her first great-grandchild, Kirsten, and great-grandaughter Jenny, are clearly Schlichters – or rather, Ottens – in stature, facial features and temperament.
We live on.
As I explore her life through her letters, I will be paying attention to the “chain” of women linked from the nineteenth to the twentieth century by Helen Ottens Schlichter.
Back to work.