By: Rosanne Mondrone, Director of Community Relations
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
Recently I attended an appreciation luncheon hosted by the President and CEO of Mary Wade,
David Hunter. It was actually the second group of us who had won awards over the last year or
two. The first group met earlier. This group of colleagues was small and intimate, only five of us.
These smaller gatherings seem to lend to more personal conversations. One of my colleagues
who became a friend began to talk about a story, my personal story, about the death of my
mother. I shared this with her as she suffered great emotional pain. Her mother was ill and dying.
I had no idea at the time, although I felt a special bond with her, that my story had such a
profound and inspirational effect on her two years later. By the end of the luncheon, it was
decided that we all have stories.
This made me wonder why my story affected her so much. Why did she feel so inspired by it
when everybody has a story? I learned quickly on my journey through life that boulders will come
across our pathways. Some we put there; others happen without provocation but all are gifts. I
am convinced that the difference in stories is recognizing the gift and the giver. Let’s face it there
are cynics all over the place. How sad it would be to lose sight of an opportunity to share a victory
over a tragedy, a revelation, a joy, an accomplishment or a fear. Whatever the case may be, as a
woman of faith I know I am blessed by my ability to let my heart be heard. Sharing my personal
thoughts and experiences allows me to heal and others to be healed by them.
So here we are, 18 months into one of the most horrific times in our personal histories. We will
read about this pandemic and its effect on our culture for a generation to come. Stories of grief,
sadness, fear, survival, kindnesses, political ambitions and religious fortitude will all be
documented. What will those stories look like? When our grandchildren come to us one day and
ask us why we had to wear masks and why we couldn’t visit our neighbors and friends; what will
we say? Will our stories be an inspiration to those who hear them? Will they be comforted by all
we did to survive? Will they be proud of the way we handled ourselves in this crisis? Will we
speak of the hearts on trees and the goodwill of our neighbors? Will we speak of the ones who
carried the burden when we couldn’t; our heroes? Will we recant the hardships financially,
emotionally and spiritually? Our children and grandchildren and the next generation to come can
be healed, educated, inspired and grow by the stories we share with them today. Will we
recognize the gifts and the giver or will we sit on our hands and stick to the facts? I know that the
Germans killed many Jews in prison camps during World War II. I know Hitler was a monster and
horrific atrocities were done at his command. I know these facts but when I see a ninety-year old Jewish woman from New York tell her story on the news about what she suffered, lost and survived, my heart absorbs all of her pain and rejoices in her victory.
We must always remember “If history was told in the form of stories, it will never be forgotten.”
Director of Community Relations
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