Where stories come from …

It is late on the day I am to post.  Still, I wish come to you with humor and memory and the blending of them in my world.

Family guy cartoon
You want to write about your family, but you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. So you mask it in another town or city, you change their names and you think you're safe. Maybe.
According to family lore, I was the unexpected, late arrival, accident of my family. The two who had been around for years weren't sure if they were thrilled by this news flash.
The story goes something like this …

My poor mother while seven months pregnant with me, journeyed in the sweltering heat, long and arduous hours from Brooklyn to the Shrine of Saint Anne in Quebec, Canada.

There she said the stations to the cross and several rosaries, on her knees, while seven months pregnant, in the sweltering heat. She purchased special holy water and crushed rose petals for insurance and to place in front of her statue at home.

Saint Anne is the Patron Saint of Mothers, and mine wanted her last and most “unexpected” pregnancy to be a girl child. For as she told my brothers many times, a girl child is the only real comfort a mother can ever expect to have.

Boy was she surprised.

I can never be sure if these family stories are true.
I might have made them up.
What about you, would you love to write about them?

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31 Comments

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31 responses to “Where stories come from …

  1. With 2 daughters, I was supposed to be a boy. My parents were so decided on this fact that they never picked out a girl’s name. Add to that a surprise early delivery.

    Yeah, unprepared pretty much covers it.

    • The real story about me being an accident also had a twist. My dad wanted the second child to be a girl so much he bought a doll for “her.” When my second brother was born he gave the doll to a friend’s daughter.

      Thanks for sharing your family story, Shelly. They are the stuff we dream of each night, who creep into our stories every day :)

  2. LOL Florence. I have a younger sister who wasn’t planned. We’ve always teased her about that and she’s taken the teasing with grace and good cheer. Then one of my siblings discovered when and how the accident happened. Our baby sister is now referred to as “the nooner”. :)

    I love hearing stories about families. There’s usually some truth mixed in with the tale.

  3. That’s an amazing story. So you were an answered prayer. Nice, even if you didn’t grow up to be a selfless caretaker type.

    I can’t tell any of my family stories until a lot of people are dead. Just way too many skeletons in our closets. (A lot of other closeted secrets, too.)

    • Anne, we should all take a bit of wisdom from Mark Twain and never publish anything about them for one hundred years when we are all dead.

      And of course, my mom learned the hard way to be careful for what she wished :)

  4. My aunt recently told me there hadn’t been girls born into her husband’s family in 50 years. She had two boys, and when pregnant with #3, she wore pink every day for nine months. My aunt refused to let the doctor start her C section until he promised not to remove her pink hairbow. Sure enough, she had a girl!

    • Now that is a great story, Laura. I am sure no one would have been able to convince her that is was science and not the ribbon that brought the little pink bundle into her life. But why spoil her fun :)

  5. Clarissa Southwick

    Great story, Florence. As a general rule, I don’t write about my family. Once I did give the children the same initials as my own kids, just so I could remember who was eldest, etc. but the characters were nothing like them.

    • I think it is probably wise not to include them in our stories, Clarissa. I certianly don’t want death threats in the middle of the night :) Just the same, I do love to poke fun at them in my way.

  6. Oh yes . . . so many stories I’d love to tell.

  7. I conceal the names of my relatives beneath characters I put in my books. They may or may not recognize themselves, but “I” know they’re there.
    Patti

  8. Absolutely, I’d love to write about them. SOME I’d like to know more about.

    My grandfather took to his grave the story behind what he perceived to be the “family shame” of being part Native American. I LOVE that I am. I used to pretend I was Pocahontas when I was a kid. I don’t know anything. Which tribe. How long ago.

    But, there are other family lore stories I’d love to tell.

    • A big wave to you, Gloria. Your gift is that you make people smile and I am sure somewhere in there is the little girl who still wants to know who she is. YOu probably tried already, but there is a national register that the Indian Nation keeps and all you need is his name.

      Tell those other family stories and honor his and all their memories :)

  9. So funny – I don’t put family members in books – but I can’t get my husband to read my romances. Can’t figure out if he’s afraid he WILL see himself in the sex scenes, or he WON’T! tee hee. I aint sayin’.

  10. christicorbett

    Florence,

    I disguise my family’s names in my books by using middle names instead of first ones :)

    Christi Corbett

  11. Brinda Berry

    That’s a wonderful story. I’ve wanted to write about my mother, but I’m not sure how she would receive it. There are so many stories I could tell about the experiences of a Korean woman moving to small town Arkansas in the seventies.

    • Oh Brinda, you must try to find the way to write her story. If done with loving hands, which I know you would, I am sure she would love it. My mom is gone now, but I truly believe she is out there somewhere smiling at her crazy daughter … still telling “tales out of school” as she was prone to say :)

  12. I remember my mother telling of how she was convinced from the beginning of her pregnancy that I would be a girl, but her MIL was sure the first grandchild would be… must be… a boy. Every gift given by the MIL was trimmed in blue. I wore a lot of blue as a baby and it is still one of my favourite colours. LOL!

    I’ve never been tempted to write about family or friends, or even to use them as models in my novels. Not sure why. Maybe it’s an unconscious desire to have my characters be unique???

  13. Ah, Florence, my beloved third son was my surprise, so of course I was convinced that God was finally sending me my girl child. Then I saw the ultrasound. . .

    • You know they most couples who go for the third have two of one sex, looking for the other. It was a good thing for my mother I was a girl, because my dad had already bought me my first doll :)

  14. DM

    Hmm. Interesting. Reading your story made me realize I avoid writing about my family at all costs. Let’s face it. I avoid my family.

  15. I was the oldest of six. All those who followed blamed me for in their words, “sucking the best from Mom and leaving them nothing else.” Not true. The only thing she gave me when I was born were all the female names she loved. Thus when my sisters came many years later, they all got the same first name–Mary.

    The boys weren’t a problem though–ugh. They didn’t have to share a name.:-)

    • Casey (Mary), that is a great story !! Talk about your sibling rivalry, boy you guys had real issues. Something like George Forman naming all his kids George (the girl, Georgette) … Thanks for the visit :)

  16. Florence, I’m finally giving out the Versatile Blogger award. If you get a chance, please stop by my site on February 2nd (tomorrow) and join in the fun!

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