“Over the course of the millennia, all these multitudes of ancestors, generation upon generation, have come down to this moment in time—to give birth to you. There has never been, nor will ever be, another like you. You have been given a tremendous responsibility. You carry the hopes and dreams of all those who have gone before. Hopes and dreams for a better world. What will you do with your time on this Earth? How will you contribute to the ongoing story of humankind?
~ Laurence Overmire
Yesterday we three sat together–my husband, his mother, and me–as Gerry read from a collection of memoirs written by his great-grandfather, grandfather, and mother. It was a precious time.
My 96-year-old mother-in-love seemed to enjoy the storytelling and said it conjured many memories for her. I loved hearing about how my husband’s great-grandfather temporarily left his family behind in England to come to Canada to build a better life. The man came alive in his stories about working hard, while having a good measure of fun, in the new land where the family eventually prospered.
My husband’s grandfather was, for a time, the mayor of South Montreal and, in that capacity, had the honour of shaking King George’s hand during a royal visit. “Do you want to shake the hand that shook the King’s hand?”, he would ask others in the years that followed.
Precious stories and a treasured morning spent retelling them. These are the things that matter.