Family stories matter to me. I love my own family tales and am fascinated to hear the stories of others. This short story called “One Upon a Time in the Bronx” will make you smile. Take a few minutes to read it, then think about your own crazy family history.
By the way, another site I love to visit from time to time is the National Public Radio Story Corps Project. All over the country, people do audio recordings of their best family stories. On the website, they pick a few for everyone to enjoy. These recordings really move me and are great fun to listen to.
In my book Joyful Living, available free as a download, I provide useful tips and forms for gathering family memories. With each passing year, memories fade and relatives pass on, so take some time this summer to gather the stories of your past. I guarantee you will be glad you did.
The other side of the stick, though, is what stories do you want your great-grandchildren telling about you? What is the one tale you wish to be remembered for? Or would you rather just be forgotten?
When my father went over to Holland in 1946 (right after he came back from the Pacific in WWII), he learned about my great-grandfather’s funeral. The pastor told him that his grandfather had been a successful man, with servants in a culture in which social classes didn’t mix. His grandfather, though, had treated all people with great respect and dignity. His funeral was attended not just by his social peers (which was the norm), but by the butcher, the guy who drove his car and many other folks who wished to pay their respects to a fine man.
That’s the kind of story that motivates me to live right.