Betsy Cross

Are They Worth a Thousand Words to You?

In Family History, Family History Center, Genealogy, Gifts, Graduation, Legacy Stories, Record Keeping, Story-Telling, Talking Photos, What Matters on June 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

“Can you get me a graduation gift?” Madeleine asked me.

By the end of the night she’d have hers and would have unknowingly given one to me at the same time.

Gifts can come in unexpected packages.

Typically I spend Tuesday nights at the Family History Center working with people on their genealogy. Last night was Madeleine’s 4th grade graduation from grade school. Yeah, they do that now. I went through the motions of getting myself there, but my eyes were on the clock while we ate and waited for the ceremony to begin.

I could never have predicted what fate had prepared for me or how deeply I’d be touched.

And then the lights went out.

The music and the slide show started as my heart stopped and tears began to flow.

I wasn’t alone in my reaction. A man had pulled up a chair diagonal to mine to sit near his wife. He was a wreck the whole night. His wife rubbed his back and whispered, “Are you okay?” often in his ear. He kept nodding a “yes”.  But he was struggling to stay composed.

So was I.

Why the tears? It took a moment of pondering, but I finally connected the dots.

It was the pictures. And the music.

Snapshots of memories organized in a slide show with “My Wish”, by Rascal Flatts playing in the background.

Photos of my little girl riding her bike with her teacher and friends from the beach to the school every day.

Shots of her playing on the playground.

One of her by herself capturing her innocence and internal beauty.

I was so moved by the adults in my daughter’s life whose compassionate service connected all of those memories to a mother’s heart. They told a story of times and a world that she and I don’t share.

They didn’t have to do what they did.

Neither do you.

You don’t have to share the stories and photos of your loved ones and/or ancestors with your family. But I promise you that it matters. Photos add a valuable dimension of our experience and understanding of those we love or of those we want to get to know better. They tell a silent tale. They truly are worth a thousand words. Now you can even record a story with your photo at Legacy Stories.

I will be forever grateful for the reminder that it’s in the stories that we connect to people, both the living and the dead. We can’t be everywhere, experiencing life as is happens with our friends and loved ones. But the life captured in those moments is priceless.

Those pictures and the stories they tell are shared through sacrifice, thoughtfulness, time, and energy that could have been devoted to many other things.

What more can I say?

My wish for you is to share the photos and stories of your loved ones.

Someone like me will thank you someday.

P.S. I never made it to the Family History Center. I was joyfully centering my heart and mind on my living family history with my daughter. I think that’s exactly where my ancestors were, too. Enjoying Madeleine!

 

  • Do you love sharing photos and stories? Do you have a good system of sharing them with your family?

++++

“Lyrics of “My Wish”, by Rascal Flatts

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
and each road leads you where you wanna go,
and if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin’ till you find the window,
if it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.
But more than anything, more than anything…

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
and while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but you never forget,
all the ones who love you, in the place you left,

I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,and you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God’s grace, in every mistake,
and always give more than you take.
But More than anything, yeah, more than anything…

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
and while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish. Yeah. 

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
and while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

About these ads
  1. One of the best things when we get together as a family is the story telling. When my parents and their brothers and sisters would gather at my grandmothers that was one of the things I always enjoyed. I hope the younger ones enjoy this as well.

  2. Talking about story-telling!?!? Seems we were on the same wavelength Betsy! The stories are what lives on, capturing the most mundane things that come to mean a lot to us.Thanks as always for the inspiration!
    Lori

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 820 other followers

%d bloggers like this: