Our lives are not stories in and of themselves, but folded and interwoven with the lives of others. Our stories start long before we are born and do not finish when we take our last breath.
Nothing puts time in perspective like very old relatives. They know your face and they have loved others with your face. They know the confines of your life better than you do. Not only have they watched your story play out like a very long film, they know the details of your parent’s and grandparent’s lives. They look at you and beam with the knowledge the years bring, those of joys, fears, and hidden family secrets. They know that their story and your story is just a blip in the giant story, the one that no one and everyone knows, the story of all the people that ever lived. The wonderful story with snakes and apples, and pregnant eighteen-year-olds, and jilted women, and the secrets spilled at viewings. Whether our lives are short or long, tragic or fertile, boundlessly interesting or as boring as cabbage, they are an integral part of the ultimate story.