Have you heard of StoryWorth? I hadn't until my sister suggested we gift subscriptions to our Mom and Dad.
Basically, StoryWorth makes it easy for people to share their stories with loved ones. Each week (for a year) they email your storyteller (in this case, my Mom and Dad) a story prompt and they just hit reply and start writing their story. The questions are ones you might not have thought to ask your loved ones or stories they've never shared. At the end of the year, you get a hardcover book of all these stories. How cool is that? It's magic, that's what it is.
I was with my Dad on Christmas when he opened his StoryWorth email. I explained to him what the whole thing was and he seemed a little underwhelmed by it. He said something like, "Okay. I guess I'll try it. But there are going to be times I just can't do it." He seemed super reticent (to say the least).
But ... then he got his first email and his response blew me away. Then he got his second one question and that response blew me away too. It's 12 weeks into the year and he hasn't missed a week and I look forward to the weekly email that shares his story with me. I have learned things about my Dad and glimpsed a side of him I've never seen in my 42 years of life. His words about his mom were so precious, especially since my Grandma passed away not that long ago and I know how much he misses her. This is magic.
At the same time, my mom has been responding to her questions. Her words are beautiful and the tenderness in which she recalls her memories cracks my heart wide open. This week's story, all about what her more treasured simple pleasures are, brought me to tears. When she wrote about her mother, she painted a picture of my Grandma I'd never seen. This is magic.
At the end of the year, we'll have a book of stories. We'll have a peek into my parents' lives recorded and shared in a way that they'll always live on. This is probably the most precious gift ever ... for him and for us. This is magic.
With each question, my sister and I are asking our Mom and Dad to tell their story. It's incredibly powerful. In the simple asking, I'm learning so much. People want to be heard. People want to share their story. People want to be remembered.
Ask. Ask someone to tell their story. All their stories. Just ask ... I promise it will be magical.