These stories of those who are NOT famous, rich and brilliant can be just as amazing...aren't they? Your blog post brought to mind the most wonderful encounter I had with an older woman in a Walgreen's Drug Store a few years ago. She was there shopping with a few of her Assisted Living Friends and trying to get around the store with a basket and a walker. I saw her struggling to get things down off of shelves and carry the basket...so I asked her if I could help her shop. In the most distinct
Brooklyn accent she told me: "Hon, you must be an angel sent straight from God...Yes!"...and for the next hour this delightful curmudgeon kept me enraptured with stories of her family, children and her youth in NYC before, during WWII and after.
She told me of how she had kissed Frank Sinatra after a 1940’s concert and that a picture that was printed in LIFE magazine of him had her in it also…gazing up in to his face along with several other girls at the foot of the concert stage. She told me: “He was what you kids would call a “hunk”…I just thought he was dreamy!!”…as she let out a teenage sigh from long ago. I marveled at how I could see the youthful sparkle in her eyes as she told the story again...I am sure those a the Nursing Home, her friends and family had heard the story far too many times for their liking and had become bored with it...I counted myself as so lucky, because I was someone who heard the story with fresh ears and interest.
|Frank Sinatra performing in a benefit concert for Italian relief at |
Manhattan Center in 1945.
As I walked around shopping with her...hanging on to every up close and personal account of the war, her distant family she had lost in the Holocaust...her brother being wounded at Pearl Harbor; her husband dropping dead of a heart attack and leaving her to raise four children; her son who ran to Canada to avoid the Viet Nam War draft and her Great Grandson who was serving in the Marines in Iraq...along with many little stories of happiness and importance for her. I never saw her again, but for that short time I spent with her, taking the time to listen to her Life Legacy stories was wonderful. I was honored that she would share them with me. I may have helped her shop that day, but in truth she opened my eyes to the fact that there are probably so many hidden, insignificant stories (but not to the person it happened) that need to be told...it is a history that may be lost. This woman led me to realize that I need to tell my story also.
I wondered how many people like her go to their rest without being able to tell their story from their little unnoticed corner of the world. I always thought I would love to record these stories of Life Legacy...Hmmm????
Yes, this would be a wonderful job…Maybe we have something here, Becky... Recording and telling Life Legacy stories.
Take the time to listen to the stories your elders have to tell...there is wisdom...history and culture held within them...I assure you...you will be blessed by them...AND make sure you pass on YOUR stories to your young ones too. It is yet another way to pay it forward or pass it on!
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