For as long as I can remember my mother has told me the same old stories over and over. There have been stories about her piano recitals and debutante ball. The story about my grandparents making her chose between getting a piano or a bicycle, and how she chose the piano with no regrets. There have been endless stories about my dad and their travels while he was in the military. Unfortunately, I never felt like there was any purpose for these stories, nor did I ever think that one-day I would wish that I had listened to these stories.
As a young child I would politely nod, and pretend to be interested. Then as I got a little older my siblings and I would come up with clever excuses to avoid sitting through, yet another long story that we had already heard. By my teen years I would rudely cut my mother off mid sentence, roll my eyes and say, “Yes mom I know you have only told me a million times.” and then quickly finish the story for her. I thought that my mom was just trying to relive the past.
It wasn’t until my mother’s 80th birthday party that this changed. Friends and relatives were asked to bring old photos of my mother to the party. While trying to organize these pictures I realized that a time line of my mothers life was in front of me. I also realized that because of all of the stories that I had been told I was able to recognize many of the people and the events in the photos. For the first time in my life I knew the precious value of all those stories that I had been told.
Our journey through life is so short, and sadly so much of our history is lost in the past. I consider myself very fortunate that my mother has kept my family history alive by passing it down to me. She is not only leaving me with her legacy, but our family legacy. This is the reason that I believe in listening to your mother’s same old stories time and time again.
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