“The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.”
– Poet Muriel Rukeyser
We all have a story.
Rather, as the quote says, we all have stories… stories of our lives, stories of our days, stories of moments.
We all have a story to tell… and even if we don’t think it’s much of anything, it’s so important that we all share our stories – especially with our children and our families.
I recently read a blog post that says that when women share their birth stories, it helps them heal. I believe this goes for many stories from our lives. In mental health counseling, sharing stories of our lives with a therapist is healing. Sharing stories of our lives with our families, and the stories of our loved ones’ lives, is therapeutic as well. We heal and become whole, we become ourselves, when we live and share our true stories.
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My 2018 Story
My story from this year is a difficult one. Last December, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, following two pregnancy losses in 2017. Pain and fatigue have become a mainstay in my daily life. Then in February, I found out I was pregnant again, and this time, the baby was healthy. Pregnancy was extremely difficult for me, pain and fatigue only exacerbated, but throughout the entire time, baby remained healthy – and our son, our third child, Silas Robert, was born in early November.
I have been back and forth and up and down and every which way as to what I’d like to “do with my life” this year, as I learned to deal with pain, fatigue, and also anxiety. I had to leave a new job I loved at a local YMCA last winter due to my health issues, and was left reeling at what to do to support my family – especially as I aimed to homeschool my children. A long story short, I am now happily working from home as an online ESL teacher, teaching English to kids in China in the wee hours of the morning – and I still get to stay home and homeschool the kids this way.
But something was still missing… and I knew that I’d lost one thing I truly love, and that is this… this project, this mission: story. Stories of us, stories of our families, our ancestors, of humanity. I knew I needed to come back. Good news: I have. I’m back, and this time, I’m here for a good long while.
I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the first blog post I wrote for Storybook Ancestor when it was first launched in January 2017.
Life is a series of stories. Our ancestors’ lives were a series of stories, stories that eventually led to our stories. Our lives have been a series of stories, and our stories led to our children’s stories, and so on… the story never ends, it only evolves. But these stories can be easily forgotten if we do nothing to preserve them, and they can only be preserved within the memories of our young ones. There were times your ancestors probably picked up their son or daughter on their knee and told them the story of the time they did this or that. Pa Ingalls in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House book series was an expert storyteller. Laura preserved those stories in her books, always just as exciting as when Pa told it to her, and now children all over the world have an intimate glimpse into the little stories of people who lived one or two hundred years ago, who, if they had not passed on their stories, would be lost to the mists of time.
Every child loves a story. They love to be told stories, they love to read them, to watch them, to tell them themselves. The story is the way to preserve our family history, that of our ancestors, ourselves, and our children, for our posterity, for humanity.
And that is what this blog is for – to capture these stories, the little stories, the stories that make up our lives. To teach our children the importance of listening, of learning, of passing on, the stories of their elders, and the stories of themselves – the stories that make up their family. This is a place to learn how – how to discover the stories, how to preserve them, and to share them with others. A safe place to share stories. Stay with us for ways to make it happen, and bring your children along. We’re excited to have you along for the journey.
Welcome to Storybook Ancestor—
Let’s tell our stories.
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