Friday, April 23, 2010

Writing Our Family Stories

A week from today, we are driving to Fresno, CA.  On May 1, there is a German Russian Heritage Fest and I will be one of the presenters.  I am doing a session on "Writing Your Family Stories".

Many of us are working on our family trees (pedigree charts).  We are into Genealogy, which is going back in time as far as possible finding our family of origin.  We have a deep appreciation for our past.  I take it even further than names, dates, and places, because I have a passion for writing stories.  I feel strongly that writing family stories is a part of our quest to learn more about who we are.

In my family, we had our storytellers, those who knew "how it used to be".  They could remember many details about family members and happenings.  One in particular was my Aunt Liz, my mother's sister.  I refer to her as the "Mother Goose" in my life.  What a treasure she was.  She never learned to read or write, but she had every recipe and story imprinted in her mind.

I encourage all of you to write down your family stories.  On holidays we search our minds and shopping malls for that perfect gift; something to express our love.  I believe the perfect gift is the gift of story.  It is a gift that has meaning and lasts forever, and is cherished.  Writing down my family stories has transformed my life.  I'm still learning about my ancestry.

One of my favorite quotes is by Eileen Silva Kindig.  She says, "Storytelling is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving for the love and connection of family.  Stories are the heart and soul of our culture.  They give us hope and help us set goals for ourselves."

I hope you will set this goal for yourself and write a story.  If we keep the stories going, we will not lose our heritage.