Col. Curtis H. Downs III
We should all tell our stories. We may think no one wants to hear them or that they're insignificant. But we all have a story to tell--and one which will encourage or teach someone else.
I had the privilege of interviewing all four of my grandparents and writing down some of their stories. I only wish I'd gotten away from the questions I'd pre-written and dug a little deeper or asked for more details. But that one experience taught me how to ask questions to discover the stories of others.
One of the biggest regrets of my life will be that I didn't get to record and write Curtis Downs' story. One night, through some probing, he began telling some war stories of his time in Vietnam. Curtis was a Colonel in the Army and was a helicopter pilot.
He was a true humanitarian, patriot, soldier, hero, and friend. I was fascinated with his stories. They were stuff movies are made of! The first time I heard some of them, I told him, "Curtis, you need to write a book!" And he said he'd heard that more than once. Occasionally, I would reiterate my sentiments. And then one day, I offered to interview him and write his story. He promised to think about it. I guess the more he thought about it, the more he talked about it at home with his wife, Dondra. And she makes things happen! She ordered a dictophone so he could begin recording his thoughts. And the next time he saw me, he told me he thought he was going to let me write his story. And then he said, "Some of it won't be very pretty." I told him I was up for the challenge. And then...Curtis went to be with the Lord this week. I'm so sad we didn't get his story recorded from his own words.
YOUR story is important! Begin telling your children and grandchildren your story. Write it down--even if you don't think it's significant or special. Write it down--even if you think you don't write well. Write it down--even if you made big mistakes. Write it down--even if it's not near completion. We have a legacy for those coming behind us and they need to know how we've lived. They need to hear how God saved us and helped us.
God wrote His story for us to learn from. We should write ours for the same reason.