Time to Tell Stories

1-3-2014 10-54-06 AMI had a discussion with my son the other day about his family history (on his father’s side). It seems that my son has uncovered a family secret and no one knows the story behind it. It made us wonder – just how many stories have been lost in time?

My children know me. My grandchildren (hopefully) will know me. Beyond that though…who knows? Unless someone lives to tell my story, what will become of me generations from now? Will I simply be another name on a headstone with someone in 2114 asking, “I wonder who she was”?

I have stories to tell. I want future generations to remember the ones I love as I knew them. This year I have vowed to start writing down the stories that I keep close to my heart of some amazing people that I have known. I hope my children and grandchildren will get to know and love them as I did. They were more than just a name on a headstone or in a government document. I want them to live on.

So off we go…to become the storyteller…to tell everyone who will listen about some truly amazing people who did some truly amazing things – they lived, they were here on this earth, and they touched our lives.

To quote Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa in Daughters of Stone, “I am a teller of stories. It is what I do. It is who I am. I have collected many stories. They have been given to me freely. And now, I give them to you. All I ask is that you listen with your heart and, if you have a mind to, that you pass them on.”

I hope you will join me on my journey and become a storyteller too! Talk to people, write down their stories, share those stories, and go collect some more!

Karen

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About Karen Y. Hamilton

Walt Whitman says about his autobiography, Specimen Days “…At any rate I obey my happy hour’s command, which seems curiously imperative. May-be, if don’t do anything else, I shall send out the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed.” This is what I feel at this juncture of my life, the need to gather together memories of my ancestors as well as my own memories into some semblance of order. Because all of those fragments, all of the fragments that make up any life, become stories. I am the mother of three sons, who affectionately (I hope!) call me 'gypsy mom' because I tend to wander around a bit soaking in the universe's wonders. I am currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. I have published essays with Heritage Press, Florida Living, and the St. Pauls Review. I am currently working on a book of poems about the Florida Everglades pioneers and a memoir about grief and the bonds of friendship. I live in my hometown, Jupiter, Florida and work as a freelance writer and curriculum specialist.
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