Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Searching for a Story to Tell
It's not that I don't have anything to say. Words are all jumbled in my brain, clumping together when I try to shake them out. What I want to write about -- the ideas that have been sticking with me the last few days -- seem too important to blurt out in a haphazard mess in order to simply meet a deadline.
Sitting at dinner tonight my husband asked me if I knew what I was going to write about.
"I'm not sure," I told him.
"You could write about traditions," he said.
I could. They have been heavy on my mind lately, and tonight I was reminded of how important tradition is to me when I walked through the front door and was greeted with the aroma of corned beef cooking in the Crock-Pot. How many St. Patrick's Days have I eaten corned beef and cabbage? It's not St. Patrick's Day without it because that is the way it has always been. It is just one of many traditions that connect me to my family and to the past.
"Okay, boys, everyone suggest something Mommy could write about," my husband encouraged the kids.
"Write about Jared and me," Jack answered enthusiastically.
"Yeah. No!" said Jared.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because you write about the good stuff, but you write about the bad stuff, too," he said.
Kid does have a point.
"I have another Safeway story," my husband said.
He proceeded to tell us about an elderly customer who walks to the store every day because she can no longer drive. She has to make the trip daily because she carries her groceries home, thereby limiting the amount she can buy. As a result of these daily excursions, her feet were hurting her. One of Dan's employees decided to buy this woman a rolling basket that she could use for transporting her groceries. She now will be able to buy more and will no longer need to walk there everyday. (Though part of me wonders if she enjoys having somewhere to go and people to talk to.)
It was a touching story, one to restore your faith in mankind and to set a good example for my young sons sitting at the table, absorbing every word. Jared was impressed by the compassion of his father's employee and her willingness to spend her own money to help out a customer.
As I sat there, quietly taking in the conversation around me, it struck me how in-the-moment and connected we were. Too often we seem to be in our own little worlds, pursuing individual interests, almost unaware of those around us. But in that moment, the four of us were completely connected, united by the search for a story that I could share on my blog. Turns out we weren't just telling stories; we were writing one. And stories, just like traditions, are what bind us together.