I’ve always loved history. In high school, I covered the walls of my bedroom with historical maps. It wasn’t about the dates, the who-did-what-and-where. It was about the people – the way they lived, their conversations, and the settings where their daily lives played out. When I visit an historical house, I usually spend most of my time gazing out the window, wondering how that scene might have appeared to the person who lived there, wanting to see the world through their eyes. What were their thoughts? Their greatest fears? Their hopes?
As I search through digital archives to find any indication of where my ancestors lived or worked, who they married and how many kids they had, I wish for so much more. I wish for stories. How did a husband and wife meet? What did they tell their children before bedtime each night? What was the conversation like around the dinner table?
I miss not knowing this.
The family I grew up in wasn’t much for passing along stories, and I was born a generation after most everyone in my horizontal line (my parents were old enough to be my grandparents, my sister old enough to be my mom, etc.). I don’t blame anyone – not anymore. God knows I did, for quite a while, but I’ve let that go as He’s ministered to the wounds of my heart.
But I sure wish I knew the stories.
Maybe I’ll find some, somewhere. But how I’d love to immerse myself, spend a day in the life.
I urge you to share what stories you know about your family. Write them down; record them; tell them. Make sure whatever you know gets passed along or documented somewhere, for someone to find who may be searching, wanting to preserve, to be a part, and to remember.
It’s not just the big events that need to be recalled and preserved. Even more precious are the everyday moments. The stuff that recreates life, so we can all partake.
What stories will you share, that someone will one day treasure?