Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I was deeply touched by Kate Collins's post last week on Monday, Valentine's Day. And the comments to Kate's post were even more touching. Glimpses into people's lives as they shared their experiences and feelings. Those moments are powerful. Moments when we reach out to one another and share our thoughts, our feelings, and sometimes our pain.

I've always felt honored when someone has chosen to share some of their private memories or stories with me. It has happened quite often. Sometimes I'm here in Colorado, other times I'm in other states visiting or speaking at an event and quite often at booksignings. In fact, it seems to happen regularly at booksignings. People will come up to the table wherever I'm signing, pull up a chair, and ask me to sign a book. . .and then they tell me their stories. All of us have stories. As novelists, we're unapologetic storytellers. Maybe that's why they choose me. They know I'll listen. And I hear the most amazing stories.

It happened again while I was traveling in California several days ago. First in Sacramento, then again in the Los Angeles area. One day my Sacramento friend & I were driving to a knitting shop in the Grass Valley area, which is north of Sacramento. The knitting shop, Meadow Farm Knits, was a wonderful & warm shop and filled with lots of friendly and fun knitters & other fiber folk. After an hour of chatting, my friend and I were ready to head to lunch when another woman came in, one of the shop regulars, and she said she simply had to share a story with me. And it brought tears to my eyes.

She and three friends had grown up together in the area and all had enjoyed knitting at that shop and had also enjoyed reading my Kelly Flynn mysteries. They all read them at the same time. Last year, one of the friend's breast cancer returned after six years and spread. Unfortunately, there was no cure this time. The three friends surrounded their dying close friend with their love by visiting her in the hospital and reading the mysteries to her, even when she was unable to respond to them by speaking. But, this woman said, their dear friend still found a way to respond to them while she was leaving them.

Oh, my. All the dear ones and the loved ones in our lives are so precious. And they all have stories. Their lives are stories. Share your love with the people closest to you. Keep sharing and let them know you care. It's a blessing for you and for them.


Peewee54 said...

That is why woman rock! We can relate and we hopefully know how little or how much to share to help someone. It has been very interesting to try and meet all of you and check out all the books. If we all treat other with respect, Life is good. Take care! Patrice

Maggie Sefton said...

Dear Peewee---Please forgive the delay in my reply to your post. My blogpost "Messages" was briefly posted by mistake last Tuesday in the early morning when Dru was scheduled for her Cozy Mystery Report. One of the other Chicks archived it, and I never saw your comment.

I totally agree, Peewee. Treating each other with respect is key. I'm glad you found us, and I hope you keep reading. Don't let that little delay glitch keep you away. :)

Aurian said...

What a lovely but sad story she told you. I am trying to introduce a friend to cozy mysteries, and I guess your books will be next as she does like crafs a bit.

Linda McDonald said...

Beautiful post Maggie. Right now I am reading a memoir that my mom's boyfriend wrote. He was born in 1927, and I've just finished his younger childhood section about life with his family in the depression era. The stories are really amazing.

And it was so great to meet you and the Book 'Em Mysteries bookstore, and I enjoyed the talk at the Sisters in Crime meeting.

signlady217 said...

We have several friends/family who are survivors, so they absolutely rock!

My mom and I keep trying to get her stories written down before she's gone (she's only 62, but things happen, you know.) And I remember some of my grandma's stories, too, that I need to write down before I forget them! That's one of the reasons I love scrapbooking; it helps tell the stories!

Maggie Sefton said...

Aurian---Thank you for the compliment. I sincerely hope your friend enjoys meeting Kelly Flynn and her friends.

Maggie Sefton said...

Linda----it was great meeting you, too. Thanks so much for coming. And wasn't that Sisters in Crime LA meeting great? I loved it! What great people.

Maggie Sefton said...

signlady----Definitely write down your grandma's stories. And why don't you get a cassette recorder or other recording device that's easy to use. Then you and your mom can record conversations where you ask her questions about her childhood and she answers by telling her memories and her stories. :) Tapes can always be transcribed by someone who can listen and type them up. It's definitely do-able.

Salar37_Shushan said...

I would have been rocked to hear such a story too. To know that your mysteries were among the words that comforted her last days. What an honor!

Stories do help when you are facing scary times, and not just the faith-based ones. Its good to let your mind slip away to better places, preferably a place without the beeping machinery. DH found some relief in hearing his favorite Discworld and Tolkien novels. I preferred reading cozy mysteries while he slept.

We do share family stories with each other here, especially the funny ones. I've been meaning to write some of them down for future generations.

Signlady, I agree with the recordings idea. It'd be great idea to save your Grandma's stories for your family. If you place it inconspicuously and let it run, that could actually work :D