Friday, February 20, 2009

when it is dark enough, you can see the stars

My friend KP invited me to hear Greg Mortenson, the author of "Three Cups of Tea", speak in our town last night. If you haven't read the book, it's about the journey that led Mortenson from a failed 1993 attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully establish schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Very inspirational.

Two things from the lecture really stuck with me. He asked the audience to raise our hand if we had conversations with our Grandparents about their life experiences. Few people raised their hands. He said that when he asks that question of school aged children in America, around 20% of them raise their hands, while in Afghanistan and Pakistan, at least 90% of school aged children raise their hands. It's actually a part of their curriculum. It made me think about the very rare conversations I had with my Grandparents, when they were still alive. As an adult, I would treasure knowing more about their lives.

This inspired me to come up with some questions (let me know if you have any suggestions!), and interview my Mom and my husband's parents. Then, I'm going to document our conversations on my blog, and save them for my children.

The other thing that stuck with me, was a Persian proverb that seemed so appropriate right now:

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

It is so true. And the darker the sky becomes, the more stars appear. I'm finding those stars every day, and making a wish on every single one.

17 comments:

For Myself said...

I love hearing my parents talk to my kids about lif when they were younger. It keeps something alive.

Melissa said...

I hadn't heard that stat, but it doesn't surprise me. Sad, actually. Our school is doing a penny drive right now based on that book. Pretty cool.

And your wisdom on the sidebar? Priceless!

Christy said...

Oh what a great idea - interviewing your parents. My parents had us do that to our grandparents when we were little, and I'm so glad that we did. I still love hearing their stories...and I'm adding that book to my list of what to read next. (love the shooting star image too!)

Lucy said...

Unfortunately my grandparents were dead when I was born but my mother talks about them often.

My children spend a lot of time with my parents and know a lot about their life. My daughter talked about it yesterday, so it was weird reading this post. I guess I am glad they have had that type of relationship and just thought it was normal.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I was always one of those terribly curious kids - asking a million and one questions, and my grandmothers were the ones who had patience enough to answer me! Funny enough, though, getting to know my great aunt late in life, I learned that most of the things my paternal grandma told me were LIES! Oh my.

My kids have great relationships with all of their grandparents, and we've bought each of them one of those "Story of My Life" books to leave us one day. I hope they are filling them out!

Kat said...

I think that a great idea to ask questions and save them for your kids. My mother in law has a grandmothers journal (I think it's by Thomas Kincade, she loves him)that she's been writing in. It has all kinds of quuestions and she's added photos and personal items to make it more special. I will love that my daughter has this when she's older. I would like to take a peek at it myself too.

Hope said...

Can I get your email? I would really like to talk to you.

Thank you for the comments... I'm happy to see I'm not the only one out there.

butwhymommy said...

My dad did an interview with his mom before she passed away. I would love to find those tapes so I could learn more about her.

Lish said...

Persians are very wise.

Heather said...

My parents are both deceased but what I have done is gathered pictures from all 4 grandparents and have made scrapbooks for the kids showing grandparents, great grandparents and some other information from their history. (I have made 1 so far only 3 to go)

bernthis said...

As I get older, I appreciate so much more what those older than me have to say. In this country we just bow to the idea of youth and THEIR ideas and then wonder why we are in such a bad way. It pains me to see how little credence we give to those that have been around longer than us. What a sad statement. I think it an incredible idea to let your kids know what their grandparents experiences were like

leigh said...

Interesting blog. I actually just interviewed my 80 year old aunt this summer and really enjoyed hearing her talk about what it was like growing up in rural North Carolina. I'm trying to set up my own family blog where all my cousins, etc can come read about their family memeber. Great minds think alike!

It sounds like my family has been going through similar struggles. BTW your girls are adorable!

heatherdyan said...

wow, great entry, kari. i can't wait to read about your interviews with your parents.

the proverb you shared makes me think of another i've heard, "it's always darkest before dawn."

keep wishing on those stars!

FrankandMary said...

I make wishes on stars, on high tide, low tide :-), pay a little homage to the sky & sea. Irretrievabe tiny hopes & dreams & inspirations. Even though I can be quite cynical, go figure. ~Mary

Christy said...

I don't know how to email your google talk account, so this is my way of emailing you! I've tried to leave a comment two days in a row on your silver lining blog, but the word verification box gets stuck before a word appears for verification...thought you might want to know!

Rhondi said...

Hi
Thanks for leaving me a comment so I can come by and visit you. I like the saying about the stars. It's so true. It's only during the hard times that what we are really made of gets to rise to the surface.
that's gretthatyoudo a thankful Thursday post too.
Hugs, Rhondi

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Unfortunately - most of my grandparents died when I was very little. And my one grandmother wasn't that into kids, so I didn't really "talk" to her until I was a teenager. I do always wish I had one of those close grandparent relationships though... I hope my kids have that with their grandparents - especially my mom. My mom is amazing.

 

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