I met a woman last Sunday–a complete stranger to me!–who shared with me the sweetest story about my mother’s childhood!
Keep in mind–my mother is still alive; she just never told me this story, and my mom’s no slacker when it comes to journaling and preserving memories. Like me, my mom has kept diaries and journals faithfully since she was young, she’s constantly researching and writing both her ancestors’ stories and her own, and she is a skilled genealogist who worked as a FamilySearch regional center director for more than ten years.
So why was this stranger’s story new to me?
I imagine it must have been a little thing to my mom that was quickly forgotten, but to the stranger I met, it left a lasting impression. How grateful I am that she shared it with me! I’m now excited to enter it into my personal ancestoirs:
Just as Relief Society was starting at my in-laws’ church, I–a lost visitor–chose a seat at random next to a woman I will call “L.R.” (because I haven’t asked to use her full name in my blog). L.R. smiled at me, welcomed me as a visitor, noted my resemblance to my mother, and asked, “Are you Karen’s daughter?”
“I knew your mother when I was young,” she said. “I used to have a paper route, and your mother came and helped me deliver all my papers once.”
L.R. continued, “After I was paid, I gave part of the money I had earned to your mom, but your Grandma told her to give it back. ‘You can go help your friend with her paper route,’ your Grandmother said, ‘but I don’t want you taking any of her money.’”
That one little anecdote, whisepered hastily as a church meeting was about to start, was more than just an anecdote to me. It was a sweet treasure for my personal ancestoirs that speaks volumes about my grandmother’s personality, my mother’s attributes as a friend, and the values that were taught in their humble, working class home.
Today I am grateful for strangers who are willing to share their memories with me!