I’ll never forget the spring of 2018 when I received a phone call from my sister saying I need to come home and spend some time with my mother.
As the four daughters sat around the kitchen table drinking coffee and looking through photos, I began to reflect upon my life and my journey thus far.
You see, my sweet mother had compiled plastic bins full of photos, memorabilia,
trophies, baby teeth, locks of hair, and even a few articles of clothing to remind us not
only of our childhood but the years spent with her as our mother.
We all looked into the photo albums laughing at memories, styles, and experiences we shared, realizing we had more in common than we thought. We were raised in the same home, by the same parents, with the same convictions, and even dated some of the same boys. But at the end of the day, we were individuals made by God to live out our destiny.
Sipping on my coffee I looked to the corner of the room where I saw my mother, not
much over 100 pounds, cuddled in a blanket and smiling at her daughters experiencing our memories together.
As I dug deeper into the bin, I found an envelope with a strip of masking tape that read, “MY STORY”… all in capital letters. As I opened the envelope, I found page after page of my mother’s story.
My mother had written her story; some on little scraps of paper, some on notebook
paper, some on the back of greeting cards. My mother had written her story.
Turning to ask my mother why she placed this in my photo bin, she smiled and looked
back at me with the confidence that one day I would understand. My older sister looked
right at me and said, “Because she knew you would do something with it.”
At that moment I knew I had an assignment. I was to use my mother’s example to teach others to leave a legacy of their story.
Stories are one of the most powerful vehicles we have to leave our legacy.
I knew much of my mother’s story. I knew she had been abused as a child. I knew that
she was born nameless on her birth certificate in 1930. I knew her mother had given her away for fear of the abuse she was receiving in the home. I knew my mother had been adopted and placed into another dysfunctional home. I knew my mother had met my father at a Christian conference. And I also knew that my mother had met Billy Graham at a Youth For Christ camp. But there was so much more about my mother I did not know.
As we sisters sat around the table reading the scraps of paper revealing my mother’s
pain, rejection, victory, and confidence… tears fell from our eyes. For the first time we understood the difficulty that my mother had gone through.
As each of us took a glimpse to the corner of the room, our eyes connected with those
of our mother’s… words were not needed… for love had filled the room.
My mother passed away shortly after I returned to California and I knew I had to do something.
It was now my turn to not only tell my story and to leave my legacy to my family, but
also teach others to do so.
As a life coach and story coach in the Anaheim area, my greatest fulfillment is helping others discover their
story. Through my Story Club workshops and retreats, I have seen countless people
discover, define, and develop their story.