Seek The Small Moments

883. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

On one wall of the room where I am staying are dozens of photographs that stretch back 5 or more generations. There are so many photographs of couples posing on their wedding day. Those same couples are in photos taken many years later – they are parents standing with their children who are posing for their wedding photograph. I look at the wall and I see people who had hopes and dreams, people who worked and triumphed and fell. I see the stuff of life: relationship. As I looked at each photograph, scrutinized the faces of lives gone by, to wonder what these people did for a living. I asked questions about the faces and names and heard many stories of these lives-gone-by. Not once did I hear about work or a job. I heard about relationship. I heard stories of foibles and forgiveness. I heard about dreams gone awry and dreams fulfilled. I heard about personal triumph and happiness that came late in life. I heard lots of stories about love lost and found. I heard many stories of small moments.

Skip and I are working on software that will help sustain and maintain family story. All summer I’ve been asking questions of families about what would be useful to capture. What would help, not only to archive but to make a dynamic personal and family story? Beyond a photo album or a genealogy of static dates, what would you like to know of your ancestors? What would you like your children’s children to know about you beyond your birth and death dates?

In this past week I lost Tom and with him a lifetime of wisdom and story. I have some of it. In this past month I attended a family gathering celebrating my father’s 80th birthday; we spent 5 days telling stories and sharing pictures, 5 days passing the stories to the next generation. This week I am helping pack Beaky’s home. She is 92 and in a rehabilitation facility. She’ll never return to her home and her children and grandchildren are sorting through her possessions but more importantly they are telling stories of her life. Each pot and pan carries a memory and is an opportunity for, “Do your remember when…?” It’s the small stuff, the little things that make a life full and the meaning is carried through the relationships we mostly take for granted.

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