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Madiba told his, now tell yours

Jess, Kai & Bailey reading stories

Jess, Kai & Bailey reading stories

My 20 month old daughter chews like my grandmother. My grandmother, who was an amazing person by the way, passed away when I was only 21 and so she never got to meet my children. But her memory lives on quite loudly every time Bailey eats something. An eccentric habit that made me giggle as a little girl and that caused slight embarrassment to me as a teenager is now one of my fondest memories.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, our dear Madiba and father of our nation, I was reminded of my grandmother in vivid detail. She loved him, she always used to say that he is beautiful and as a little girl I thought she meant handsome, but now I know that she meant so much more. She is part of my story and because she rated him to be cool, he is in a way, also part of my personal story. Today I sit down with our nanny (aka second mom) to watch Madiba’s memorial, she (nanny) is telling me her story and how it relates to Madiba and I am telling my story and how it relates to Madiba while together we share some soup. This morning it is as if all stories lead to the same place, all stories come together.

Last week I read a blog about story telling. The author talks about how primitive men learnt to read the tracks other animals left and how, with this pattern recognition ability also came the ability to recognise sequences of events and to arrange these events into a story. Humans see stories in everything; you can show a three year-old a series of pictures and they will join them together with a story. They will make up stuff, tell you what is not there and tell you what will happen next. They do this because they assume there is always a story. And they are right.

With this blog today I want to urge you to go out and buy a notebook and start writing down your story and the story of your children. Tell them about what came before, about their birth and first days, tell them about now. My story to my children will include the heartache, the little sleep, the bugs and laughs and trips to the emergency room; it will be about the boring, the better and the awesome and it will span from their grandparents and it will not end. Tell them about the best and the worst. Don’t leave anything out; you can leave no better legacy.

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