The Secret Behind Post Secret- Everyone Has A Story

My Old Kitchen

Everyone has a  story but not everyone gets a chance to tell it.  One of the 982,834 things I think about is what those stories are and how can I find time to hear more of them.

Stories are the secret behind Post Secret. Sometimes they are secrets but most of us wish we could share those secrets with someone else.

Think about it for a moment. Here is what I am going to listen to while you do.

  1. Silver Springs- Fleetwood Mac
  2. Landslide- Fleetwood Mac
  3. Happy- Bruce Springsteen
  4. If You Could Read My Mind- Gordon Lightfoot
  5. Hurt- Johnny Cash Cover

My Old Kitchen

I had to go through the old neighborhood this week and made a point to drive by the old house. Been more than a year since we sold it and moved out, but it feels like a lifetime has passed since then.

That kitchen you see in the picture is part of what I think about most. I have vivid memories of my daughter standing in it, pacifier in her mouth, asking me to let her cook dinner.

I blink and I see us there on the last Father’s Day we spent there. The kids are yelling at me to get out of the kitchen, they have a surprise.

They don’t know that I have already spotted the meal they have made for me and when they bring me breakfast in bed I act surprised.

When I blink again I remember standing in the garage late at night. My father lay unconscious 3,000 miles away. The last time I had seen him was 12 hours before.

Clicks, beeps and whistles from the machines helped to make sure his chest kept rising. I grabbed his hand and told him I had to go home, reminded him there was 3 year-old boy waiting for me and a pregnant wife.

Told him I expected him to fight harder and that I wanted him to meet the grandchild that was coming.

Looked down at his hand and remembered when they had seemed to be the biggest hands I had ever seen and noticed that now they were exactly the same size as my own.

That Was Then

Dad came home and was there to take a picture of two great-grandmothers oohing and awing over the only great granddaughter on the west coast. He and I watched as the grandmothers tried to coax their new granddaughter from the arms of their mothers.

My grandfathers beamed with pride and talked to me not just as a grandson, but as a man. That had started when my son was born, but it became more pronounced with the arrival of a girl. It was understood that things had changed again, in a very positive way.

Later on I stood in the garage again and worked out on my heavy bag. It was the one place that was all mine, my refuge.

5 More Songs

  1. Gypsy- Fleetwood Mac
  2. Walk- Foo Fighters
  3. Atomic Dog- George Clinton
  4. Baker Street- Gerry Rafferty
  5. Hey Hey What Can I Do- Led Zeppelin

The Garage As Thinking/Laughing Place

Fast forward or click backward if you will and you’ll see me standing in the garage again. We buried my grandfather earlier today. It is also the day my old boss texted, emailed and called repeatedly so that I could check in so that he could fire me.

I am sitting in the garage thinking about…stuff.

The kitchen you see in the photo above doesn’t look like that. That is because we are in the middle of the remodel. I am trying to figure out what kind of person fires someone the day of their grandfather’s funeral.

I am angry and embarrassed, but mostly angry. I didn’t get fired for not doing my job. The sales numbers don’t lie.

My grandfather reaches out to me and tells me I am better off, or at least I think he might have. I hear his voice, but he is not there any longer. He tells me not to lose my temper because I can’t do anything to the man who did this to me. That is, I can’t hurt him because he is clearly already broken.

People Want To Be Heard

There are a million stories tied into those fragments. There are a million tales I could tell and secrets I sometimes think about sharing.

Sometimes I’ll go to the store/park/airport/coffee shop solely to look and listen. Call it voyeuristic, but I want to hear more stories.

Sometimes I think about past relationships and see that part of what killed them was the point when we stopped listening and sharing those stories.

People want to be heard. They want to be loved, listened to, trusted and made to feel like they are worth something.

One of the best things our blogs can do is meet those needs and desires.

I hear the echoes of the future in the voices of my past. Changes are happening now and more are coming.

What stories will I tell down the road.

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  1. Vanita November 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    i truly believe everything happens for a reason Jack, so I agree with your granddad, you’re better off not working for someone so…vile.
    this is why i adore the blogging world so much. the opportunity to peak in on memories, thoughts. when i commuted to work, i would sit on the train sometimes wondering what the other passengers were thinking, where they were going, what their life is like. i would never know though. blogs change that. they give you insight into the lives of other real people and i love that. its why i enjoy coming here.

    • Jack November 20, 2012 at 12:34 am

      Hi Vanita,

      You just shared a big piece of what I love about blogging and that is the chance to meet people I never would have.

      There is something unique and special about it that makes me ever so grateful for having stumbled onto this scene.

      People power the blogosphere.

  2. Carolyn November 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    You are such a talented writer. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

  3. Mark November 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    You be awesome, Jack : )

  4. cath November 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    What an awesome post, and blog. Your words ring so true for me too:
    “People want to be heard. They want to be loved, listened to, trusted and made to feel like they are worth something.
    One of the best things our blogs can do is meet those needs and desires.”
    I found you via Write on Edge, and am glad I clicked your link. Thought provoking.

    • Jack November 19, 2012 at 12:56 am

      Hi Cath,

      Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it. That lesson about what people want is among the best I have ever learned and something I am trying to pass on to my children.

  5. malia November 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    lovely post. yes, every little thing has a story, and i long to know others’ stories, even people just walking past. it’s probably why i love reading blogs. 🙂 i just have a problem with trying to tell my own stories. i will sit, staring at the blank screen for a long time, before finally giving up and doing a survey or something. perhaps i need to just get a snapshot in my head about one object in particular and start with the story on that. thanks for giving me ideas during this month of nablopomo! 🙂

    • Jack November 18, 2012 at 12:19 am

      Hi Malia,

      Do you have trouble telling your stories because you are shy or you don’t know what to share?

      • malia November 18, 2012 at 11:43 am

        perhaps both? i think they’re kind of related. i am a shy person, and thus, i don’t always feel comfortable sharing that much, at least in person. in written form, where i express myself better, i kinda think it’s because i don’t know what to share–i don’t know what is interesting enough or good enough. ah, well. i will try today to pick an object and write its story. thanks, again!

  6. Louise Ducote November 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Ah, thanks for taking us along on your journey. I hope getting fired ends up being the best thing that ever happened to you.

    • Jack November 18, 2012 at 12:14 am

      Hi Louise,

      Thanks. I’ll let you know what happens. We went our separate ways six years ago and I am glad. It was a toxic environment and I have learned a lot since then. Time will tell what the net result is.

  7. Joe November 17, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Effin awesome, Jackson. My writing has gotten better because of the infinite inspiration of posts like this. Thanks.

  8. Matches Malone November 17, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I’m going through much the same thing right now, as I’m in a writing ebb, but feel the need to do something resembling anything…

  9. MizYank November 17, 2012 at 6:35 am

    What a beautiful, moving, poignant post. Thank you for sharing it.

  10. Ginny Marie November 17, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I love reading and listening to people’s stories. This post was just chock full of wonderful little tidbits!

  11. Julie Barrett November 17, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I recently discovered Post Secret (not sure what rock I was hiding under). Aren’t they remarkably revealing? This post made me tear up a little. I can’t think of any secret of my own that would genuinely startle anyone however I hold some amazing secrets for other people. Maybe that’s like my job?

    “The good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow aint as bad as it seems,” flitted along, for some reason. My personal expectations for us are MUCH higher than that. One can hope.

    Funny that you seek to overhear while I actively avoid it. Maybe I need to change that. I walked out of the gym with someone’s Mother and her athletic student. They were talking loudly about show outfits on little girls, which I found super annoying. So of course they couldn’t walk a straight line in the parking lot and they bumped into me (verbally) 3 times before it turned out I was parked next to one of them. I swear someone up there was testing me 🙂

    • Jack November 18, 2012 at 12:05 am

      Hi Julie,

      Sometimes I think we miss out on sharing some stories about ourselves that are far more remarkable than we realize. What seems normal to us often seems exotic to others.

      That Billy Joel quote is dead on and I make a point to remind myself of that.

      There are times where I do my best to tune everyone and everything out, but sometimes the best way I have to do that is to listen. Some of the things you here are simply fabulous, fascinating and worth remembering.

  12. Betsy Cross November 17, 2012 at 3:47 am

    I stopped my research for your post when it popped into my email. Glad I did. Talk about stories! My daughter is doing a puzzle next to me and asked me, “Mommy, are you talking to yourself again?” HA! Yup! I love family history for the stories. I finally solved a mystery of a little girl’s disappearance- someone nobody in the family ever knew existed- and I swear I heard her clapping. She wasn’t forgotten. She died when she was 5, 3 years before her sister, my grandfather’s 1/2 sister, was born.
    Thanks for providing a space where people feel loved! It’s REALLY important to write our personal histories (the facts plus the why’s) so that people like me don’t get the story wrong!

    • Jack November 18, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Hi Betsy,

      Family history can be simply fascinating. One of the reasons I miss my grandparents is because I lost the direct line of memory from certain events to the present. I can tell/share the stories but not like they could.

      And those older generations had many stories like the one you just shared of children who never made it out of childhood. I always wonder about them.

      It is always good to see you here.

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