This 10th lesson has been one of the hardest to write. Maybe because it’s finally putting some closure on the loss of our grandparents. Maybe it’s because I’m putting out there what’s next on my journey. Or maybe it’s just hard because I know my story is unique, but so is yours. As I reread my first drafts it was clear that some of the details were too personal to share here. When we look at successful people we don’t always know the back story of the struggles they went through to reach success. However, I do know the backstories of Bop and Gram, and it’s taught me that through sharing our stories we can learn so much! We give HOPE to one another and we can grow. Think of a book or a story that changed your perspective. Can you think of a book you loved to read over and over again as a child? Think of the lyrics to a favorite song that resonate with you. Maybe you see a story in a beautiful piece of artwork. Telling stories is the heart of humanness.
Bop loved to tell stories about his life. He always shared stories about his childhood, his travels, what it was like in our country during difficult times like World Wars, and the Depression. Our family could sit around the table and listen to Bop’s stories over and over again. We still tell them. It’s these stories that have helped my husband and me through this pandemic. It’s these lessons that have helped us stay positive when faced with challenges. At the age of 95 Bop sat down at his computer and began writing his autobiography. He titled it, “My Wonderful Life”. Reading stories like his and reflecting on our own lives helps us to see that we are all faced with challenges and triumphs. They give us HOPE that we can endure the tough times.
Gram shared books and stories she loved in her lifetime with us. I remember going to her house and there was a cabinet in the family room full of old children’s books, and games that my sister and I would play with. Getting to spend 43 years of my life with her gave me stories to share with my daughter. Stories of my childhood. Stories with characters I love. Stories of getting to explore new places.
So from all of this, I am moving forward with my writing and working on sharing stories with the world. Writing has always been a way for me to process what I live. Writing is my creative outlet. As I tell stories to my daughter, and as I create stories to share with the world, I hope you, too, will share your story. You don’t have to be a writer to share your story. Oral storytelling has lived through history, and now is the time to pass along these stories with others. These stories are the fabric of humanity that bring us closer together, and help us to feel less alone.
I’m grateful you stopped by to read, and hope you’ve gained inspiration to focus on the lessons in life, not the mistakes, see the good, and share your story with others. We can all use a little more hope and love these days. 💖