It was Christmas.
“Here we go again. Another round of Gilby’s stories.”
I looked at my cousin with the round-eyed shock a small person feels when a beloved and looked-up-to elder does something unaccountable. Eight years older, he was my eldest cousin. I thought he was perfect.
When I was very small, I had decided that I would marry him when I grew up… My dad had the unfortunate task of carefully explaining why I would have to marry someone else. I thought it was a great pity. I idolized him as only a small girl can.
Unfortunately, he was going through his adolescent boy phase.
“But, I love Grandpa’s stories,” I objected, ignoring the fact that beloved big cousin had very incorrectly and rudely called Grandpa by his first name.
“Yes,” he huffed in agitation, “and there’s so m-a-n-y of them… and they are so l-o-n-g! How can he possibly have a story for every situation?” and rolled his eyes.
I heard the words but they made no sense. I LOVED Grandpa’s stories. I LOVED learning from the wisdom of those who had gone before. I listened and listened… I learned and learned… and every story was like a jewel reflecting light into the darkest corners and illuminating the way forward. Grandpa’s stories guided my way forward.
But was my cousin right? Was there a story for every situation? And what did it mean if there was?