My Irish Mason Family

My Irish Mason Family

Sit With Me - Share My Journey

I'm Irish & I'm a Mason...and I have lots of stories to tell! I have stories of magical, serendipitous moments on a journey discovering my Mason roots. It's been an amazing, wonderful road I've travelled & I hope you'll enjoy the stories I share about this long & difficult & very rewarding trek! I hope you'll find inspiration to never quit looking for your ancestors.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Priceless & Non Tangible - Stories

I was lying in bed this morning unable to sleep so I walked down here by myself to the river and listened to the rhythm of it and let my mind wander as the river spoke to me.  Oh how I wish it really could!  The stories it could tell!  Suddenly I knew what I want to share with you today. 

I want to share the value of stories - sharing them in any way you can - passing them down from generation to generation.  Who could put a price on THAT Treasure Chest?  It doesn't matter if you speak the stories personally and / or on recorder or if you write them down or however you find a way to pass them on.  What you share when you share stories is oral history - and a part of yourself - a part that no one else can really know until they hear it from YOUR perspective.  Others can look at your life and write an obit.  You have the power to fill in the details that go so far beyond that!  You have the power to leave a legacy.  Never underestimate the value of that!

I've shared that my grandmother was orphaned when she was 12 - the eldest of 6 siblings.  What 12 year old asks family history questions?  She did have some connection to her extended family so it wasn't as though she didn't know anything.  It was just that she didn't know very much.  She lamented that.  I had to trace her entire line as genealogists do - step by step starting with the death certificate.  I'm so proud of being able to do that - and so sad that she wasn't there to share it with.  She died when I was 12.  I would have loved to have given her that gift.  She gave me so many - and none of them ever cost any money.  I truly don't remember a gift she ever bought me.  Yet the treasures she gave me are immense! 

On my dad's side ... well...you know that I tragically lost him when I was 2.  I was far into adulthood before I even had the slightest clue about his life beyond his name and the fact that he had drowned.  Because I didn't have any contact with his family I had no way of sitting at their feet and asking questions - allowing them to share with me the stories of their lives and the stories they could remember from their forbears.  There was a huge hole in me - a huge desire to know my heritage.  So again...step by step starting with the obituary a brother happened to find and then the death certificate and so on.  I was so blessed with everything I learned about my dad! 

My family has never had family heirlooms passed down.  My mother started changing things with her generation and even now she sorts things and make plans.  No one before ever did that.  People threw everything out.  It's insane in my opinion but I can't fix it.  I plan to follow in my mom's footsteps.  There are things I hope to pass on as heirlooms - even if inexpensive - just little treasures with sentiments attached.  We lacked in stories and we lacked in "things".  So most of the Treasure Chest Thursday things I can share are things I've been fortunate enough to receive that belonged to my dad.  I also have a tendency to share things that would equally fit into Sentimental Sunday blogs.  Oh well.....  That's just me.  :)

What I realized standing by the river this morning was that of all the treasures that I have from my heritage - the ones that mean the most to me never cost a penny.  Nor are they tangible.  The treasures are the stories that have been shared with me about my dad and his family  by my cousin John and my stepmother Maggi.  John was able to share with me stories that pictures don't tell, that military records don't tell, that medals don't tell.  The same is true of my Mama Maggi.  She could even share the stories from her perspective of meeting my dad, their marriage, his likes & dislikes, little funny stories, and also of his death and what happened that day and everything after.  A picture of her with my dad wouldn't tell me those priceless stories.  I have been able to get to know my dad through the stories shared by the people that knew him.  What a gift!

Tell your stories.  Share them.  Even if no one seems to want to listen right now - share them, record them, write them down.  Someday maybe someone will be like me and be searching to know anything and everything they can.  Someday maybe someone like me will want to soak it all up.  Someday maybe your stories will be the priceless gifts in the legacy treasure chest of their lives.   

3 comments:

  1. Ol' Myrt here has just posted a spotlight of your blog to continue to conversation of sharing what we know.

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  2. Hi, thanks for reminding us all to share our stories. This is, afterall, on of the reasons I started blogging. Sometimes I get bogged down in all the vital record documents and I forget to tell the stories. So thank you :-)

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