The Importance of Telling Stories


This photo, taken by a very good friend, introduced a wonderful post by my daughter  about telling Little Linsey stories to her daughters.  I loved this because her stories refresh my memories and because in the telling they become a part of our family history.  I can add even more stories and I promise, Lins, only to tell your daughters the good stuff!

 I am a storyteller, too, with four generations of stories to tell.  They are  about my mother, my daughters and grandchildren, and I tell a few to my mom every time I visit her.  I always hope they will  trigger a memory and that she will have something to add.

Of course, I tell her about our family and how lucky she is to have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I tell her about the Christmas I got a bicycle and my brother got an electric train and between the two of us tooting our horns, we probably woke up everybody in the neighborhood.

I tell her how excited we were when Daddy came home and asked us how we’d like to move to Florida.

I tell her about the houses we lived in, at least the ones I remember.

I tell her about the trips we took when I was a flight attendant with Delta and had passes that would allow her and Daddy to fly.

I remind her of how much we loved her fried  peach pies and chicken and dumplings.

I tell her of the time when she and Daddy lived in North Carolina and the girls came to visit and wore overalls and straw hats and picked blackberries.

As she listens to the stories, sometimes she smiles; other times she has a far away look, and I wonder if she is remembering or if she is somewhere else.

When I have told a story or two or three, I ask her to tell me one.  Hers is always about being a child on the farm.

My daddy called me Jo.  I guess he wanted a boy, but I was the third girl.  He needed help on the farm so he always said, “Come on, Jo, come go with me.”  He never asked my sisters to go with him.  I liked being with him.  He always called me Jo.  

“And,” I ask, “tell me about your mother.”

She was a good cook and always kept a clean house.

That’s about it these days except that when I ask about my daddy, she says he was a good guy.  When I ask her what made him a good guy, there is not much more to the story.  Fortunately, I have my own memories of him and know that what she says is true.

Yes, telling stories is important, and I am glad my granddaughters ask my daughter to tell Little Linsey stories.  I wish I had asked my mother to tell more stories while she could still remember.

Do you share your stories?

 i love your comments, so jump right in and share your thoughts

Joining Feathered Nest Friday, So Sweet Sunday and Seasonal Sunday

9 thoughts on “The Importance of Telling Stories

  1. I got goosebumps and tears reading your blog, Linda. It is so true—-telling stories is so important for both the teller and the listener. Somehow, having only sons, and them not having children, I guess I haven’t done enough of it.
    A few years before my Mother died, we gave her a journal and asked her to write stories for us. Before dementia, she had been one who enjoyed writing and we thought she would write fiction stories for us. But instead, she wrote HER story—stories about her growing up. Interestingly, she also wrote continually about her father wishing she was a boy and how she worked the farm with him while the others stayed in the house doing ‘girl’ things with her Mom. She thought she was blessed because she would always choose to be outside instead on in.
    Those journals are a treasure now and we are glad she wrote her story instead of the fiction we expected.

  2. Aww. Stories are precious. And you are the master story teller! I’m eager for you to add some Little Linsey stories to my list. I seem to have forgotten so much and want to remember. Stories matter.

    I was just telling my favorite chef friend, Randy Evans about Grandma’s peach fried pies. He’s a big fan of fried pies.

    Love you,
    Lins

  3. So true! That’s why I’m trying to slowly include my kids “stories” and other family ones on my blog so that a record is written down in back and white (or in my case also with photos LOL)
    Bravo for keeping the storytelling traditions alive! what a brilliant legacy to be passed down through a family, wonderful!

  4. I am so glad you shared this- such a wonderful post. I don’t know if you read through my blog at all- but I just recently lost my sweet grandmother. She had dementia for nearly 5 years and I helped care for her. I loved spending time with her, even when she didn’t know who I was, I didn’t care. Just holding her hand and being with her was enough for me. We were so very close my whole life and I miss her dearly.
    If you would like to read more about Grammy~ here are a couple of links about her.

    http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/2010/11/now-i-know-where-to-find-me.html

    http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/2010/12/grammys-love.html

    Big hugs to you and your family and thank you for sharing this at Feathered Nest Friday this week. 🙂

  5. Oh Linda, I loved this story, you tell us so clearly, this is what we all must do with families, story tell! I heard a lot from my Mil when she was alive about their family, my daughters’s family, and now, there’s just my mother left, who to ask about us. Thank you so much for reminding us of family story telling, it’s our legacy and what we have very close to our hearts and core and that is “family and background”! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and you’re all beautiful, a gorgeous family!
    FABBY

  6. Speaking of generations…We celebrated the kids’ birthdays on Saturday. (Today, Megan is 4 and Thursday Drew turns 2.) I was taking a piture to send to my mom, and I said, “Smile, it’s for Granny!” and had a seriously freaky Uncle Phippy flashback moment.

  7. I really enjoyed this post, I love hearing stories from my older family members, the more I learn about my parents the more and more I appreciate them!

    I’ll even ask people outside my family to tell me stories from years and years ago. I love learning the history of people.

  8. Thank you so much for this post Linda! I realized I have so much stories to tell to my kiddos about their Mama and the rest of the family. Huggs and blessings to you and your wonderful family! 🙂

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