Friday, February 8, 2013

Readings and Greetings; All There Is--Love Stories from Storycorps

Love stories, isn't that the right theme to be reading in February?  But this is a book for all seasons and reasons: love, loss, human touch, joyfulness, heartbreak, devastation, and reuniting.  Every story in the book is a condensed story of love, from 40 minute interviews taped at a Storycorps location around the United States.  The book is divided into three themes of love:  Found, Lost, and Found at Last.  My favorites run deep because they were told with love, humility, and devotion.  Deep inside my core I felt each person talking, touching, giggling, kissing, dreaming, and crying.  I cried, too.

Dave Isay, the Storycorps founder writes in his book, All There Is--Love Stories from Storycorps, "Over the past eight years I've been astonished and delighted by the stories that spin out of our booths and land on my desk each week.  They speak to the enduring and redemptive power of love.  They make my spirit soar.  In a culture that often feels consumed by all that's phony or famous, these stories give me hope and remind me to try to live life without regrets.  I hope they do the same for you."

The stories of love cover the ages, cultures, and circumstances of love.  You can read about Hunny Reiken, 80, who talks with her husband Elliot Reiken, 86 or listen to their story on the website <>: Hunny speaks:  "I have a twin sister, Bunny.  And you have a twin brother, Danny.  When we met we were sixteen and a half, and we were waitresses in a hotel.  You and Danny were musicians in a band." The story of the two sets of twins marrying the same day brings a smile to the readers face but it is Hunny's reflection I like best, "When two people get married, they say two people become one.  No, I don't agree.  Two people should remain two people and walk side by side.  I've not become Elliot.  Elliot has not become Hunny.  We remain Hunny and Elliot.  And to me, that's important." Elliot responds, "You made my life complete.  And I hope we'll go on for another fifty years."  Hunny, "I'll take five good ones.  Five good ones, and I'll say, 'Thank you, God!'"

A story collected in Wichita, KS  tells of a time of war when a young man working for a radio station located in the tenth floor of the Lassen Hotel meets a young woman on the elevator, but a war comes between them for a time.  Paul Wilson, 93 talks to his daughter Marty Smith, 61 to tell his story.  Love was torn apart on the day the terrorist attack New York and the Pentagon.  Beverly Eckert, 55, remembers her husband Sean Rooney, who worked on the 105th floor in the South Tower.  She speaks: "In the end, as the smoke got thicker, he just kept whispering  'I love you,' over and over.  I was pressing the phone to my ear as hard as I could.  I wanted to crawl through the phone lines to him to hold him one last time.  Then I suddenly heard this loud explosion through the phone.  I heard Sean gasp once as the floor fell out from underneath him."

I hope you each buy the book as a gift of love, or check it out from the library, because Beverly's story doesn't end there.  Make sure you carry Kleenex with you as you read.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Quite a book! I'll watch for the book--sounds inspiring. Guess i should be sure to have a good supply of tissues though, huh?Thanks for sharing the inform. HS