What's your story?

Everybody is a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don’t do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering. Rachel Naomi Remen 

This is why I love to write, because I do believe with all of my heart that everybody is and has a story, and that the way these stories weave together is transforming.

During these days of pandemic it may be more difficult to find ways to share our stories with those we love, but it’s critical we do so. Whether we share by Zooming or email or phone calls or writing our own memoirs (we have the time now, so why not?) we can’t afford to let our stories fade and die. They are far too precious.

Let’s keep our stories alive in every way we can, and weave them together. We have never needed wisdom more than now. Let’s generate all we can.

 

 

 

10 Comments

  1. FORSTROM ROSEMARY on September 20, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Remembering and telling the stories, beautiful thought. I have a cousin that is about nine years younger than I am. We were born into the same biological family. The time difference means that our memories are so much different. He is interested in the family history and we share memories and stories. He and his sister recently started posting family pictures on Facebook, hoping their cousins would share memories. We are all in our 60’s and 70’s. The time to share those stories is now before those memories fade away. Our parents and grandparents were often gathered around a table sharing stories and laughter. Today family gatherings, if they happen, show a group of people focusing on their phones.

    • Emilie Richards on September 21, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Yes, every table needs a basket that says “phones” to be deposited before the meal is served. There’d be grousing, yes, but in the long run, it would be worth a few complaints.

  2. DELORES on September 20, 2020 at 10:09 am

    This immediately brought to mind sitting around my mother’s kitchen table with family members telling stories of little exploits unknown to others in the group—and the fun and laughter that ensued! In 1999 my mother was dying of pancreatic cancer. I flew to MN to care for my parents, and my daughter came short term. We sat for hours while my mother told stories, and my father contributed what he could (he was severely disabled because of a major stroke). I wrote in shorthand what I could—not trusting our memories completely and later transcribed my notes for my family members. There was so much none of us had heard before, and those stories are treasured. My mother was a gentle, caring person, but she had spunk, too. She told of my father borrowing $300 from PCA to buy cattle. Instead of leaving it with her in the house, he carried it in his wallet and went out with the horses and plow to turn a field. At some point he realized his wallet was gone and looked and looked. My mother had carried lunch out to him in the field and actually found the wallet on the way but didn’t say anything. She was annoyed that he had carried the money with him. It was pretty funny to hear my father in limited words—“she didn’t tell me. She didn’t tell me,” and my mom standing up for herself and telling him he shouldn’t have taken it with him and should have trusted her with it. I agree that too often gatherings now have too many on their phones instead of communicating!

    • Emilie Richards on September 21, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      Oh, I would have loved your mom. I bet he learned his lesson. What a good thing to have done at the end of her life, Delores.

  3. Adelyn Grudier on September 20, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Telling stories reminds me of visiting with my son last night and the ensusing story it brought up. I mentioned that a town in Canada was going to remame itself from Asbestos because of the bad notions it meant. I said that my mother came from a town close to that and the reason they came to the USA in 1909 was that my grandmother did not want her sons to work in the mines. Sso with that reason and others all 12 of them came by train to Massachusetts. They were sidelined by a flood and it messed up defining where they came from with officials in immigration. And then the story went on from there.
    I didn’t realize that my son had never heard this stuff because he came along seven years after the first two and didn’t hear the original story or was too young to remember traveling to some places.
    It is important we try to give our memories to our offspring.

    • Emilie Richards on September 21, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      I bet he really enjoyed that glimpse of history.

  4. Nancy Lepri on September 20, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Keep the books coming, Em!!!!

  5. RITA Tekkier on September 21, 2020 at 12:45 am

    When I read about you sitting around the kitchen table I remembered my neighbor. Every time I stopped in at their apartment they were sitting at the kitchen table. It was kind of hard to see them because they both smoked one cigarette after another. What I remember most was a heavy glass container full of spoons in the middle of the table. They always had tea or coffee in front of them and used those spoons to stir in the milk. I was at my local consignment shop and saw the same kind of heavy glass container. It didn’t matter to me how much it was going to cost, I knew it was coming home with me. Thanks for the memory. RITA

    • Emilie Richards on September 21, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      That’s a wonderful story. Does it sit on your kitchen table now?

      • Rita Tellier on September 25, 2020 at 2:31 pm

        I take it out when we have company. I would have it on my kitchen table but my son and daughter in law gave us a big beautiful bowl and that sits in the middle of our kitchen table. On my dining room table I have three teapots and some of the cans that I had tea in.

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