Family oral histories are important. This week on Romance Writers Weekly, I challenged everyone to:
Share a memorable story you've ever heard (or told) by word of mouth that you would like your ancestors to remember always.
There are so many stories I want my (currently imaginary) grandchildren and their ancestors to remember. Over the years, memories get blurred and facts can blend into fiction. After all – if it makes for a better story, why not bend the truth just a little bit?
I probably already have some of the details wrong, but I love the story about how my parents met. My mother was in nurse’s training at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. So was my father’s cousin, who had grown up with my dad in Prince George. They became friends, and that may have been enough of a connection, as my dad was living in Vancouver at the time, as well. Fate made sure of it, however when my father’s brother-in-law was in a car accident (I believe he was hit by a police cruiser through no fault of his own) and was sent to St. Paul’s (at least a ten-hour drive away at the time) for treatment.
My mother’s parents were married in February 1941 in Belgium. This was during World War Two, of course, and Belgium has been occupied by the Germans for quite some time already. They didn’t talk about it a lot, but I do remember one story. My grandmother had purchased a pig through the black market. In order to get it home undetected, she put it in a buggy and wrapped it in blankets as if it were a sleeping baby. Here’s where I’d like to add that she was stopped by German soldiers and questioned, all the while hoping they wouldn’t look too closely, but I don’t think that is part of the truth.
My dad’s dad was born in Nova Scotia, and his family has connections in Boston. When he was 12 or 13, old enough to start to work, he was sent to the family in the States and got a job at a book printing company. I still have the full set of Charles Dickens he was given when he left, even though he didn’t work there very long.
Some of the stories can be told in a sentence:
- The Christmas Santa and his reindeer left footprints (actual footprints!) on the roof of our garage!
- Camping in such high winds what we all had to hold down the poles used for our tarps and awnings so they didn’t blow away.
- Playing Scattergories with the letter D and the category Song Titles, and Only Son played “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.”
- At the local SPCA to adopt a kitten and having one reach out of its cage to catch the sleeve of Middle Child as if choosing her, and fifteen years later having that cat still prefer her out of all of us.
- The time a friend asked Eldest Daughter, who was not yet in kindergarten, what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said “paleontologist.” (You should have seen the look on his face.)
What about you? Any family stories you can tell in just one sentence? I’d love to hear from you, and then be sure to hop over to visit Jenna Da Sie .