Family Stories-Tall Tales and All

We start out on our lives planning and dreaming about our future. The years move on, and before we know it, we’re no longer dreaming about the future – we’re trying to recall the past.

We had just enjoyed a meal with my brother, sisters and spouses, and had moved from the table to a cozy corner in one of the hotel’s lounges. Gathered round a blazing fire, and seated in comfy armchairs and sofas, the warm environment made us forget the wild and wintry weather waiting for us outside. And so, as the hours gently moved on, our conversation turned, as it always does, to years gone by, when we were young, growing up in post-war Glasgow…and how we moved to the seaside town that became our home. We remembered those who have now passed on, our mum and dad, aunts, uncles, and the cousins we’ve lost touch with.


The stories started to flow, but this year they were perhaps a little less fluid, and we had to admit that one or two details couldn’t quite be remembered – at least, with the assurance of 100% accuracy. Sadly we had to admit that our memories weren’t as great as they used to be.

I commented that these stories should be written down – one or two were new to me…or perhaps I’ve just forgotten them…

Heads nodded in agreement. But I wonder if any of us gathered there will put aside the valuable minutes needed, and put pen to paper? If we don’t, chances are they’ll be lost forever.

I’d like the great-grandchildren I don’t have at the moment to be able to laugh at the stories that their great-grandad told at their grandmother’s weddings, and other little gems, such as the story of how their great-great grandmother (my mum) was a kamikaze pilot during World War ll. Oh yes, some of the stories in our family are legends, and still raise laughs when we’re all together. (We have some jokers in our midst).

In truth, Mum was a young radar operator during WWll, who tracked enemy planes flying over the English Channel, then sent the coordinates on to the gunners who tried to stop them before they reached land. It was a commendable occupation in its own right, for she was young, far from home and the country was at war. However, many years on, one son-in-law felt the need to embellish it a little…then a little bit more…

The young boys in our family, who didn’t understand the significance of the role of a kamikaze pilot, grew up with that story…full of wonder and admiration for their much-loved gran’s wartime heroics.

I’m sharing this because it’s yet another reason to journal, and you have stories too. Please put a little time aside each week to write them down, for those in the future who will surely thank you for them.


Photo credit: fireplace

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