The Priceless Gift of Stories


The Priceless Gift of Stories

Annette Wilson, Certified Senior Advisor




With Mother’s Day right around the corner our thoughts to turn to women who have made an impact on our lives and reflect on ourselves as mothers and caregivers. All too often we glean the stories of our mother’s lives after they are gone.  We spend countless hours (and tissues) sorting through pictures, postcards, letters, and items they kept their whole lives.As children, we don’t really see our mothers as individuals who had a life before we came along.  As young adults, our focus turns to the responsibilities of our careers and raising children. Dialogue with our mothers becomes a series of reports about our family and invitations to sports events and recitals. 

Turn the tables once more and interactions with mom become a matter of checking in.  How is she doing?  Did she remember to take her medication?  This is a natural progression in this fast-paced world which demands so much from a generation often "sandwiched” between raising children and caring for our parents. If you are fortunate enough to have living mothers, grandmothers, aunts, I encourage you to take the time to draw out stories from their past.  Many memories spring from mementos, keepsakes, souvenirs, and photographs.   Use your observational skills to detect clues about the past from objects in their home.

You may think that reminiscing will make them sad, but the opposite is true. By encouraging them to talk about their past, you can improve their self-esteem and help them achieve a sense of fulfillment. And the best part, you will learn stories that you never heard.  Stories you can pass down to generations to come.    Generational storytelling is a profound way to instill a deeper bond across generations and grow a sense of pride, identity, and connection to our past.