We gathered around the Thanksgiving table and his aunt and mom told stories of when he was young. It was lovely to get this insight into who he was before I met him. Along with this story there are many more, each one playing a part into who he has become.
Hearing these stories filled my heart with happiness, yet at the same made it break a little bit thinking of how my mom was longer with us to tell the stories of my childhood. My mom knew me before I knew myself. She was the keeper of all the stories and always told us of the times we had forgotten. She knows the story of when I lost my first tooth, learned how to ride a bike, and how it all went down the night I was born with clown makeup and all.
I think of my three year old niece who spent a lot of time with my mom. She was with her almost every day and will still speak of her. I know that as she grows older those memories of her will fade and the angel necklace she wears will become to small.
But my father is teaching all of us that the memories never have to fade if we keep sharing stories about her. There are moments with my family that I feel strange talking about my mom. I know when I bring her up that tears surface for all, but I enjoy speaking about her. She has infused so much into me and my family. Her spirit lives on in all of us.
At my Father's thanksgiving table he brought my mom along by drawing her as his place setting and writing around it that he was thankful for 40+ years with her. I wasn't there to witness when he drew it but I was so grateful to have been able to see it in person when I gathered with him later in the day.
This drawing is a reminder that we must continue to share stories about my mom. We must talk about her often, even if the tears surface. This is what keeps her spirit alive, and there are so many stories to choose from. There are happy pants, and moments at the shore, chocolate covered pretzels, and tar beach. There are corny jokes and seashells. Nutcrackers and birthday dinners.
Sharing stories of her feels healing and fills me with love. Even though she won't be with us this holiday her spirit will be and the traditions that she has instilled in us will be carried through. You can find a piece of her in everything we do.
It is important to share our stories. To speak of what made us. To laugh about the hard times and savor the good moments. Each piece our the story is what has made us who we are today. When we share these stories we are inviting people in and bringing down the wall. This is necessary for connection.
This past year has filled my heart and soul with stories. The time the front lawn of my parents house was filled with feathers. Sitting outside the hospital so my mom could have some alone time with her friend. Her last mothers day. The moment I gave her the bracelet. Coloring together at Luke's birthday and the moment she took off her real pants to reveal her happy pants. Even through the sad times there was so much goodness.
I know I must share these stories. They are the stories that have shaped my year and who I am. Without these stories I am nothing.
It is important for all of us to share our stories. To show up and tell the truth, even if it hurts. As individuals are gathering in the Heart Notes classroom stories are being shared of favorite memories from the year and I know there are plenty of more stories to come. These stories give us a glimpse into someones life. This is incredible personal and amazing.
There is still time to join. We begin class December 2nd. Throughout our time together we will close out the year by looking back on all that was and dreaming and scheming for what we hope 2016 will hold.