Remembering: The Power of Story

Canadian Bill

Photo from Google Images Creative Commons

Yesterday was Remembrance Day. In my view it is the one authentic ‘Holy-Day’ of the calendar year. No commercialization.! No Remembrance Day Sales! No self-focus! No negative editorials! No anti-Remembrance or pickets!

The nation and the generations join in simple Silence and Gratitude.

Photo by Christina Ryan Calgary Herald

 From Today’s   Calgary Herald 

  • Dwindling numbers of oldest vets, the tragedy of recent conflicts bring Calgarians out on Remembrance Day
  • Most servicemen and women, veterans and the fallen, were “ordinary [people] who served their country,

 

  • Ray Gilbert wept as he and 15000  other Calgarians stood silent for two minutes to mark Remembrance Day under a bright, blue sky at the Military Museums’ outdoor service on Monday.
  • The Second World War veteran, who endured a German prisoner of war camp for two-and-a-half years after the Dieppe raid, was emotional as he reflected on the service of fallen soldiers. When we came to that part where we have to remember everyone, it was really hard,” 91-year-old Gilbert said following the ceremony. “Tears were just flowing. I had a terrible time with it.”
  • Mayor Naheed Nenshi told the audience one day’s remembrance each year was “in many ways a cheap act. That simple thank you is never, can never, be enough, he said.  Let’s recommit ourselves, not to a moment of remembrance at eleven o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Let’s Commit Ourselves to Lives of Constant Remembrance!

Generations

Remembrance 2

Photo by Rotary (RIBC) Great Britain/Ireland

Remembrance Day is intensely personal. It connects us  to our  ancestors and to ourselves  at levels that no other holiday can do.

Each generation has experienced at least one defining event that changed their  world;  irrevocably changing the culture and individual . To understand ourselves we must understand the generations that went before. What defined them? What altered the course of their lives collectively and personally?

The image on the Canadian ten dollar bill tells the story of four generations. Grandparents, parents, children  and grandchildren connected ! My grandparents destiny was sculpted by World War I; my parents by World War II. Another post will address the events that shaped my world.  My grandchildren live in the blessings of what is gone before. Their story is yet to  unfold.

The most potent connection tied to Remembrance Day is the connection to my grandfather Robert Booth Jeffels.

Let me tell you his story. In telling his story I tell you mine.

 

Robert Booth Jeffels

Remebrance 3 The bullet points of his life are unremarkable.

  • Born- Nov 23, 1889
  • Served in British Army during  World War I
  • Married to Elizabeth Brooks
  • Three sons & one  daughter; eight  grandchildren
  • Worked as a green grocer
  • Emigrated to Edmonton Alberta in 1926
  • Served in Canadian Army during World War II
  • Died- June 10, 1962

Who was this quiet, gentle man? How did he impact his world? What was the legacy he passed to his children, grandchildren & now his great grandchildren?

Why are the  little girl memories of attending   Remembrance Day services with the grandfather  still vivid?  She remembers stories he told, books he gave, walks down 118th Avenue, coffee at Dolly’s Cafe and are as real as the memories of yesterday. She can still smell the Irish Twist tobacco & treasures his pipes.  She felt so special to be the grandchild who took  the train trip through the mountains  to visit Great Aunt Rose in Blaine WA.

On the morning of the day Grandpa  died he sat  at the piano &  played an old hymn- Crossing the Bar.  He sang the words & said ‘hmm’. A few hours later  he left the house to catch his  ride but came back  to embrace the little girl now sixteen.   I Love  You  were his last words. to his grandaughter.

What was his legacy? What was the deposit God put in the grandfather so it could be passed to the little girl?

The list could be long including faithfulness, integrity, joy, humor. His grandchildren all say they have no bad memories of grandpa. He experienced deep rejection & unwarranted accusation  from close relatives. In the face of deep hurt he did not retaliate or become bitter. He was ‘One of Whom the World was Not Worthy’.

 Robert Booth Jeffels

He Was There -He Listened -He Told Stories

 

Passing It On

IMG_0359Yesterday our eleven year old grandson came for a sleepover. We built memories. We watched Remembrance Day  services on TV. I told stories of his great-great  grandpa. I listened to his stories. I played with his Chrome Book & my iPad. He taught me how to get Google Drive. It really helps to be a ‘techy’ Nana. We talk about school & relationships & faith.

 

 I Am Present –I Am A Listener -I Am A Storyteller 

I Inspire Faith In Next generation.

 

A Psalm of Remembrance

I will speak to you in stories . I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. (Psalm 78: 1-7)

Response

  • What is your Story ?
  • Who  were your ancestors ?
  • Connect their story with yours.
  • Live in design and destiny.

 

Stories Are Told So That Each Generation Can Set It’s Hope On God

Tell Your Story To Someone Today!

 

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2 thoughts on “Remembering: The Power of Story

  1. I just finished copying this and putting it into my files..

    A Psalm of Remembrance

    I will speak to you in stories . I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. (Psalm 78: 1-7)

  2. I am reminded Linda, as you tell your story, that my grandparents also played a huge role in shaping who I am today. Their vivid stories of their survival in Holland during WW2, did not fall on deaf ears. I can still hear my grandmother’s recount of the many times they didn’t know if they were going to survive the night, but she had memorized Ps 91 and their faith in God was walked out in many practical ways.
    I am also reminded of a wise woman who shared with me, the importance of my role as a grandparent today to my grandchildren, so this weekend as they come over, I think I’ll start by reading Ps 91 to them.