Musings: Telling Our Stories

Two recent events brought this topic to the front of my mind today.

Family History, chicagotribune.com

The first was a great article I read on the New York Public Library’s website called 20 Reasons Why You Should Write Your Family History. They note that stories add depth and character to sparse family trees, that doing ancestry research makes you feel smarter and more connected to your roots, and writing your history allows you to dictate the way you and your ancestors will be remembered. I bookmarked this article for future reference; someday I will get a chance to document some of the stories that my mother and mother-in-law have to share.

 

 

The second event was the sad news that a friend of mine lost her favorite grandmother this morning, at the respectable age of 90. We were chatting over coffee (well actually, I was having hot chocolate and she was having a fountain drink) when she received the call. I asked what her grandmother was like and she told me several hilariously entertaining stories about a bedazzled, high-heel-wearing, big hair, true Texas lady that I would have loved to have met.

It got me thinking about how wonderful it would be if we all wrote down the fun, exciting, mysterious, adventurous, daring, and crazy stories that are hidden in our family trees. If my friend decides to put her grandmother’s stories down on paper, I’ll be the first in line to buy a copy.

Someday, I hope my daughters (and potentially my grandchildren) will read through this blog and my other writings and be able to get a sense of who I was, what was important to me, and maybe even learn from my mistakes. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep writing.

(Sending hugs and love to my friend and her grieving family this weekend!)

~ Phoebe DeCook

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