Why Stories Matter

 

Everyone talks about how odd their family is, but after meeting my family, people always say the same thing, “WOW, you weren’t kidding!”

I was raised by the most eclectic collection of oddballs. Italian and German immigrants who landed in New York, my people were short, sturdy, organized, over-exaggerators: the perfect skillset for a producer and comedic storyteller.

Every Sunday dinner ended with a “story slam,” featuring anecdotes from a recent adventure or the tales of people long since passed. Every voice was welcome. You didn’t need to agree with the interpretation of the story, but simply bear witness to the experience.

The evening always ended in the same way. After the last story had been told, my grandfather would pull the napkin from his shirt, throw it on the table and declare, “Well, I don’t think it’s going to get any better than that!”

When people ask,

“What is the big deal with storytelling?”

my answer is always the same: stories remind us that we are not alone. They connect us to each other and define who we are, where we have been, and where we hope to go,

Long after we leave our place at the table, the stories of our hopes, triumphs, fears, and failures live on.

I am eternally grateful to my odd collection of people, past and present, and the AMAZING stories they have told—and will tell.

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My grandfather was right, “It doesn’t get any better than that!”

My mighty matriarchal triumvirate! Then…

My mighty matriarchal triumvirate! Then…

…and now!

…and now!