I recently went on a trip with 38 people. I only knew one other person went I set out on this trip to a foreign land. But by the end of the 10 days I had gotten to know the others. Some I got to know better than others, some were more fascinating, some were funnier, some were more serious but all in all it was a wonderful group of people. The group was made up of couples, sisters, mothers and daughters, younger, older, some from Australia, Italy and all over the U.S.
What I realized (I’ve known this, but once again it was proven to me) is that everyone has a story to tell.
As I sat and listened to each person, whether it was over dinner, a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the afternoon, they all shared moments of courage, regret, heartache, love, joy, hope and some amazing adventures. The one thing that saddened me the most is that these stories, these people with so much to tell and to share, may be forgotten. Everyone is an author, a story teller, and a weaver of tales. Everyone has a story.
Years ago I encouraged my mom to tell the stories of her childhood. She grew up in South Carolina in the 40’s and 50’s and she had wonderful stories to share. She took pictures and videotaped them and narrated the stories. This will be passed down for generations. I cry every time I watch it; it turns my mom into someone I never knew, a child, a teenager in love and a beautiful bride. Without her telling the stories I could have never met those women. It brings to life my great Aunts and Uncles and great grandparents I never knew. But because of this gift I know them now, I know their stories and I have come to love them.
My father a young man growing up in Charleston around the same time has started to tape record his stories for me and my children. He used to put us to bed at night telling us the stories of his childhood. Oh, what wonderful memories! Such amazing things he got to do and places he got to go as a young soldier in the army. I love hearing his voice and imagining him as a young boy in his adventures around Charleston with his friends.
Reading books or listening to stories can transport you to different times, places and create magical moments. I was given the great opportunity to do this while listening to my travel companions.
On this trip I met...
A lady who shared the funniest tales of her family members; I laughed and laughed each time she told another tale.
Another has a story of a breast cancer journey. What an amazing strong woman she is.
One is a librarian with seven children, imagine the stories there.
Two people had been on an African safari and had great tales to tell. I kept bugging them to tell me more each night.
One man’s mother was a sex therapist when he was growing up. Wow, the stories there were too funny.
One man has lived in the Arctic and travelled all over, his tales of adventure, courage and strength, were amazing. What a wonderful gift he gave each time he told a story, but how much more wonderful if he wrote them down for his son.
I loved meeting these people, listening to them talk, they made me laugh, they inspired me to pursue these things I’ve been dreaming of and they made me hopeful that if they can survive what they have been through I too can survive hardships and heartache and come out a better person. Some, because of the time I spent with them ignited a passion for things I had forgotten were inside of me.
Although they may never read this blog I want to thank each and every one of them for sharing a little bit of their life with me. I’m a better person because you shared your stories.
My wish is that these amazing people, the ones I travelled with, the ones reading this blog, the people I meet every day and those that I’ve met before will find a way to tell their story.
Don’t worry about grammar, getting it published, or what it sounds like.
Your stories are interesting, they are funny and motivational, and will be appreciated.
You don’t have to write it, you can video tape it like my mother did or tape record it like my dad does.
Whatever you do, don’t let your story get lost and forgotten; instead let it be remembered, let it be heard.