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We Are Family!

Posted on Friday, March 12th, 2010.

Traveling the country year round, we hear all kinds of stories from all kinds of people as Mobile Facilitators. We bear witness to moments of joy, sorrow, and spontaneity between loved ones, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and the like. By listening closely to these stories and conversations coast to coast, I often find myself thinking, “Hey! I want to do that with my own family!” StoryCorps participants remind me daily of the importance of preserving my own family stories. In fact, participants often ask, “Have you ever done your own recording?” Luckily, I have had the opportunity to record conversations with my grandmother through the StoryKit program, and my godmother at the Lower Manhattan Booth in New York City. Up until last week, though, there was still one very important person I knew I wanted to participate with: My mom, Mary Culver.

Mary Culver and Sara Culver

Tempted by the warmth of the Sunshine State and eager to get an inside look at what I’m up to everyday, my mom made the trip from our home in Guilford, Connecticut to the East MobileBooth in Pensacola, Florida. In preparing for our conversation, I soon understood why participants often come into the experience feeling nervous about how they will possibly be able to pack in all they want to talk about in just 40 minutes! There was so much I wanted to ask my mom – both to hear old stories retold, and to ask some questions I had never thought to propose in the past. She gladly rehashed the story of meeting Julia Child and humored me by singing the songs she and her siblings made up about their childhood pets. More than anything she said though, the entire experience reminded me of just how special my mom is. She is a jack-of-all trades – an avid knitter, an incredible cook and baker, and a talented artist, among many other things. More importantly, my mom is loving and unbelievably selfless. I think she sometimes gets down on herself for being a stay-at-home mom, but I am quick to remind her that what she did, and continues to do (raising my sister, brother, and myself) is work too – not only hard work, but incredibly meaningful and important work as well. I tried to ask her how she got to be such a good mom, in hopes of discovering some secret formula I could use if and when I become a mom, but I think it just comes naturally to her.

Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, StoryCorps’ new book, arrives in bookstores on April 15, 2010 – just in time for Mother’s Day! Help StoryCorps in celebrating American mothers from all walks of life and experiences. I know I’ll be celebrating mine!

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5 Responses to “We Are Family!”

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  • Sara,
    Your mom looks like she could be your sister!!! You must be so proud of her, too. I am so glad you two got to spend time together in Pensacola. And please tell your mother that this Pensacola mom thinks she did a wonderful job of raising a lovely daughter with heart, warmth, humor and caring! I’m glad you two got a chance to share the StoryCorps experience. We’re so happy to have met you, Jeremy and Whitney, and wish you safe and colorful travels!

    Comment from Marian on April 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • Thank you for sharing this; I have to admit, I got a little teary-eyed. Aren’t moms the best??

    Comment from Megan on March 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • That’s my cousin Mary, all right! I’ll never forget a couple of summers in my late teens when my family practically lived on Mary’s baguettes (home made, naturally!), and her duets with sister Perky were always the high point of our Christmas lunches. What a treat to read your piece, Sara – my parents loved it, too!

    Comment from Alden Warner on March 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • P. S. We are family! I get it…one of my all-time favorite songs. I’m not forgetting Molly and Chilly! You all spice up my life!

    Comment from Mary on March 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • SAR! wow! How very sweet you are. Thank you! You definitely make me feel good about being a Mom, my favorite thing to be forever because I have a wonderful daughter like you!

    Comment from Mary on March 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm - Reply to this Comment

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