You have a story, plenty of stories from your remarkable life. Yes, remarkable. But have you thought of being intentional in telling your story, more in-depth to your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, friends, and all the other special people in your life? It’s those little fun, quirky, intriguing bits of your life that people love to hear about and will endear you to them for years to come and after you graduate from this life.
Oh, the stories we learn when we actually sit down with someone for a bit and linger in a conversation. I enjoyed this opportunity last week with my wise and steady 96-year-old Uncle Herb and his wife, Janet. Uncle Herb is my dad’s only living sibling, and Herb is still quite sharp on details from his experience-rich life.
Fighting the Nazis
Herb served on the USS MacKenzie Navy destroyer in World War II defending Europe from the Nazis. The Navy ship participated in a number of crucial wartime operations, including the Sicilian occupation in 1943 and the 1944 invasion of southern France called Operation Anvil. A highlight of Herb’s time as a radio/communications specialist on this massive warship was relaying a message from young Navy sailor John F. Kennedy.
Herb also reminisced on how after the war he traveled with a Navy photographer buddy to see Washington, D.C. and ended up touring the White House. And get this: Herb and his friend were invited into the Oval Office, and when Herb saw the empty chair of the president, Herb asked to sit in it. The president’s assistant replied, “Sure, the president never sits in it.” The president was Franklin D. Roosevelt who remained in his wheelchair when he worked behind his Oval Office desk. I love this story and can just see Uncle Herb spinning around in FDR’s chair.
Sharing Your Stories
My uncle, born on a southeast Nebraska farm in 1922, grew up to serve our country and unknowingly crossed the paths of two great American presidents. I think we all have noble, interesting, and goofy stories to tell. Have you told any of yours lately? On purpose? Go, fix some coffee and dessert and sit down with your family and friends. Share a favorite memory from your childhood or military days or early marriage or a tough job or why you like a favorite food. People really do want to hear “what makes you tick.”
And, while you’re thinking about some of your favorite moments and stories, take a minute and share one with the rest of us here. You can practice on us. Don’t be shy. Okay, I’ll start. Oh, the stories we learn when we actually sit down with someone for a bit and linger in a conversation. I enjoyed this opportunity last week with my 96-year-old Uncle Herb and his wife, Janet. . . .