Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's Your Story, Pass It On

My mom will be eighty in September, and my mother-in-law recently turned ninety.  We don't see either one of them nearly as often as we used to, but this summer we've had visits with both of them.  During each visit, I noticed something: our moms were eager to tell stories from the past to their children and grandchildren.  They are both getting a bit forgetful about the bits and pieces of daily life, but their memories of long ago seem crisp and clear.  Last night after dinner, Steve's mom told the group of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered around the table all about having her first child alone while Steve's dad was in the navy during World War II and didn't even know his son had been born.  When my mom was here, she told story after story about her favorite teacher (Mrs. Oliver) and things her parents used to say ("If I had a rope around his neck, if I wouldn't yank it!").  Listening to them talk got me thinking about how important it is for all of us to tell our stories to the people we love, especially our kids; we want them to know who we are, where we came from, and what mattered to us.  So tell your kids the things your parents used to say and do; write down memories from your childhood; and when you look at old photo albums with people, fill in the details behind the pictures.   Your stories matter--pass them on.

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