During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your story by clicking here.) And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my good friend Nancy Franson.
Your Story Matters
My uncle sat across from me at the farmhouse kitchen table nearly every Sunday during my childhood. Not until after he died, however, did I hear some of his stories. His widow pulled out pictures of him, taken at a reunion of his World War II flight squadron. It seems my uncle, as crew chief of a C-47, had been decorated for his role in dropping paratroopers in advance of the Normandy invasion.
I wish I had known that.
Although I do a number of kinds of writing, my favorite is recording the stories of elderly friends. Author Alex Haley wrote, “The death of an old person is like the burning of a library.” After my uncle’s death, I learned the value of preserving these kinds of memories.
Opening my ears and my heart to stories of an older person not only provides great writing material, it also affirms the value of that individual’s experience. Listening in this way says, “Your life, your story matters.” Even if I have no particular market in mind for publication, the practice of listening to, honoring, and recording the story of an elderly person helps me grow as a writer. And as a person.
Nancy Franson is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and son in Mansfield, CT. She tells stories about faith and life at Out of My Alleged Mind. Connect with her on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or subscribe to her posts via email.