GIVING THE GIFT OF HERITAGE
Sharing Your Stories
Guest Blogger, Sharon Brilla
Something in our hearts responds to story. Before the invention of radio and TV, before we even had access to the written word, stories were the way we passed on our history and our culture. We especially love tales of courage and triumph over difficult circumstances. Stories about family help us know where we fit in the scheme of things. What small child doesn’t beg, “Tell me a story?”
Sharon Brilla, Co-Director of Social Services at Josephine Sunset Home here in Stanwood, says: “One of the greatest gifts we can give to our families is sharing our trials and failures and how we overcame in the midst of turmoil.” She relates this to the Biblical account of Moses leading the Israelites out of their Egyptian captivity to the land God had promised them. Moses told the people, “‘Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.’ As we face tough economic times we can help the current generation learn to face adversity and remind them we can be over comers.
“My mother told about putting cardboard in her shoes because she couldn’t afford another pair of shoes. All of us have Exodus stories about how our family has survived when life happens. Our challenge is to share our stories with the next generation and teach them to recognize their own stories.
Christmas time is a perfect opportunity to remind our families of our triumphs and lessons learned from the hard times. This year give the gift of legacy and start a new family tradition.”
Here are some of Sharon’s ideas:
* Start a journal with stories from the past and add new stories throughout the year
* Play a game of remembering past victories. ‘I remember the time Grandpa’s car broke down on the freeway and….’
* Start a prayer journal with your family. Record answers to your prayers.
* Share a time when you failed and what you learned from the failure.
* Encourage younger family members to share their Exodus stories. This year I will remind my grandson of his fears on the first day of school. That morning he asked me to pray, and when school was out, he said, ‘I had a good day, Grandma.’
Here are a few ideas from Sun Breaks:
* When you put your photos in albums, or download them to your computer, be sure to label them with the occasion, place, and people in them. Don’t let your treasured photos end up in a shoe box in some estate sale because no one knows their significance.
* Keep a journal, if only jottings on a calendar to keep track of important daily happenings.
* Keep scrapbooks of family events.