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Introspective Sojourner

The journey inward following Christ’s path to that person I was uniquely created to be.

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stories

If I had only known…

I wish I would have known while my dad was alive. I only traveled home about yearly, or bi-yearly. I only called about monthly, sometimes longer. Every time I would go to his house, he would invite me into the living room and ask me to catch him up on what was going on. My parents made me nervous. I felt like I never shut up around them. I felt like no one could get a word in edgewise. I was instantly tossed back in time, just a kid struggling for attention. I wasn’t a neglected child but there were six of us, and I was not the golden child – ever.

Still, every time I called, every time I visited, dad would focus on me, and ask about the details of my life.  How was my job, my kids, and my husband? What did we do for fun? He would get me started and a year’s, or a month’s worth of data would vomit out of my brain. I even asked my husband to give me a subtle nudge if I was talking too much. I don’t talk that much at home.  Oh, I’m not completely silent, but I don’t go on and on – most of the time. When I was around my parents, I couldn’t seem to stop myself.

I worried that they thought less of me because I couldn’t shut up. I tried to ask about their lives too, but they always turned the focus back on me. I never seemed to know much about their lives. I worried it was my fault. I wish I would have known. I would have called more.

My kids are grown now, with lives of their own. Still connected to mine, but separate. It’s wonderful when we get together and just talk about what’s going on in their lives. I want to know about their jobs, their friends, their kids, and spouses. I want to know about their dreams, even if they never come true. I want to know about their struggles and heartaches. Everyone has them. I don’t think less of them for having them too. I cherish the fun we have in group texts, and out for pizza, or playing cards. I cherish family gatherings. Mostly I love hearing about their lives, even the mundane things, because I’m not there, and it makes me feel connected. I wish I would have known.

You grow apart too easily. Life slips by too fast. There are too many chores, and not enough free time. There are too many good choices, and too much life to live. I want to hear about it all. They could talk a mile a minute – I wouldn’t care. They could tell me the same story two and three times over; I like hearing their voice. I like being with them.

To those of you out there who still have your parents, call them, write them, text them, keep in touch. Never feel like you talk too much. Stay connected. I say this knowing I need to call my mom, and my step mom. I need to catch up. I say this, missing being able to call my dad. I wish I had known. We weren’t super close but we weren’t estranged either. I was blessed. I am blessed with family connections that will always be there, even after a month or two, or a year. We get together and pick right up where we left off. Catch me up. Tell me your stories. I want to hear.

You could never talk too much. I wish I would have known.

Tell Me Your Story

I want to hear your stories.
I want to hear about that time.
Tell the one that made you laugh,
The one with your partner in crime.

Tell me how you took the train,
Across these great big states.
Tell the one about Uncle Horace,
And the cows getting through the gates.

I want to hear about it all,
To live a thousand lives.
To meet one hundred characters,
Get on memory lane and drive.

I want to hear your stories,
I’m waiting patiently.
You pick the topic, I’m all ears.
Oh won’t you please tell me…

By Vicki L. Pugliese

A Need for More Stories

So I wrote a book.  Mostly I told my own story but to tell my story in some places I had to tell the stories of others.  In our home that’s kind of a rule.  It’s not your story, you don’t get to tell it.  When I asked my kids to read my book, so they would have that opportunity to say, “Mom! If you tell that story, I will never speak to you again!”  Then I could know if I had gone a little too far, turn around and bargain with them, and tell at least part of the story.  Instead I got responses like “I didn’t know that.”  or “Where was I when that happened?”  There seemed to be an overall desire for more of the story.  They wanted more of my story, more of my parents stories and more stories of themselves from when they were too young to remember.

Its more than just nostalgia.  I remember wanting more stories myself from my dad who had a million stories but they never seemed personal enough.  It was like I have a hundred funny stories about people and places that I don’t know, or don’t know well.  What I don’t have is a hundred funny stories about things my dad did as a kid with his siblings or parents or friends. What I don’t have is the story of how my parents met and fell in love.

I know my father broke his arm in a car accident that was bad and that it required surgery.  He lost some teeth in that accident too.  I loved my dad’s partial plate.  I guess I loved that he would take it out and smile to make me laugh.  My dad’s smile was gorgeous when he got a full plate, but it made me a little sad.  But I don’t know anymore about that accident that could have killed him.

I thought I had been different with my kids.  I thought I was always telling and retelling my same old stories; my mom and dad’s stories, and my sister’s stories. I feel like I’m always repeating the same old stories but apparently I’ve missed a kid or two, or a story or two.

It was a good idea for me to write that book just for me.  It was an excellent journey that I needed.  God used that book and that process in so many ways.  I learned a lot about myself in the process. Maybe it was just a start.

Maybe there are more stories to capture for the kids and grandkids.  After all I won’t be here forever and someone ought to pass them on.  We’re a very entertaining family, full of joy and laughter!  We may border on demented but only if you don’t have a good sense of humor.  We love to play.  There are so many stories.

Its so easy to forget the details, forget to tell the stories.  We all seem to long for it!  We long for that connection to our story.  How the ripples in the pond affected us.  So we can understand why we do what we do.  We have a need to connect to it all.  I do.  That’s why I loved that “the rest of the story…”  I want to understand and connect.  And I want to laugh, at myself and at life, don’t you?  We want to remember the laughter.  “We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.  And the other nations said, ‘What amazing things the Lord has done for them!'”  Palm 126:2.

That He has indeed.  Go write your stories!

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