I love history – whether if it’s 500 years ago or a mere few years – what happened when, most especially as it affected the people involved. Seeing the movie, Lincoln, this past weekend, I was moved by how much we saw and felt of Lincoln’s character and emotions – certainly as President, but also as husband and father – and how powerful that was.
This made me think about my own parents who have passed on and how much more I wish I knew about their early years, before me, their childhoods, young adult years, parenting years. Granted I know the stories that have been handed down and repeated, but there are still so many more unknowns.
My dad came to this country from Greece, arriving at Ellis Island. He spoke often of the strong feelings of patriotism he felt, and how they were born in him as he arrived in New York harbor, passing the Statue of Liberty as a young boy of nine years old. And then, what happened? I know the facts, but how did he feel, what was it really like? What was it like for both my mom and dad, as parents, raising seven children – from their perspective?
That’s why I’m determined to write about my life – not that it is full of historical significance by any means – but because someday, maybe one of my children or their children will wonder and be curious about who I was and how I felt -about this and that – the questions and the answers that were never asked.
Friends have told me nothing has happened in their life worth writing about. However, I took a Write Your Life course a few years ago that changed that assumption for me forever. It was a very mixed group of people. We wrote on different stages of our lives. I couldn’t believe the power behind the written words, the emotion, the humor, the wisdom, the strength, the authenticity. This very “ordinary” group of people had extraordinary things to say – to pass on.
At this time of year, the beginning of the Holiday season, when families are gathered and memories are strong, I encourage you to take the time to ask those in your life about their life – and listen with your heart.
I am privileged everyday to hear many of your stories, your questions, your concerns, your feelings – about parenting, children, choices. They add to the fabric of my understanding and connection for which I am continually grateful.
So…to our universal stories … I say, cheers!