Shyly she asked, Would you like to read my story? It is the kind of story you write about in your blogs. Of course, I assured her, I would be very happy to read your story.
The envelope contained a neatly typed seven-page manuscript, documenting major portions of her life. The first chapter, Early school years, covered the highlights of her elementary and early high school years. Fun at grandmas house revealed the fondness the writer had for her grandmother and the wonderful little things that grandma did to delight her young visitor every time she showed up at the house.
Interesting vignettes, illustrations, and anecdotes punctuated the chapter on being A depression kid. A chapter on My major life work highlighted the tension between being a mother of four and a mother who worked outside the home. Although the chapter on Body and health history would suggest a tale of sickness, accidents, and other setbacks, it was an interesting glimpse into a world where less advanced medicine was practiced.
The authors final chapter, Spiritual life and values contained a detailed understanding of her husbands journey through suffering with diabetes, including recovery from peripheral neuropathy. The chapter ends with the words, All things are possible with God?
This lovely lady is now in her nineties. She has written her memories and has given the manuscript to each of her grandchildren at Christmastime. She does not have a typewriter or a computer, so a great deal of effort had to go into getting a friend to sit down with her and type out her words. The final result was seven short chapters.
It is not important that the manuscript is not ready for the publishers; it clearly tells her stories. It is a treasure because her grandchildren can read these stories long after she is gone as they tell their children about her way-of-life in bygone years.
This manuscript is a gift to the following generations! I was fortunate to get to read her stories, to get a bit of insight into who she is, who she was, and why she chose to live as she did.
Our stories do not need to be ready for any publisher, editorial critic, or any hounding grammarian. They just need to be told in ones own voice, including our feelings and sense of being. Each of us can do this. It is a matter of will. Why not consider starting today?
Over the next several weeks, I am going to suggest some simple and relatively easy ways to begin to tell our stories.
- February 11 – Telling our stories orally, Part 1
- February 25 – Telling our stories orally, Part 2
- March 10 – Writing our stories: How to begin.
- March 24 – Writing our stories: Going to print