What qualifies something to be history? Does it have to be old? Does it have to have global impact? Do life and death have to be involved? Must it be a tale of survival and loss? To involve war? Does it have to be hard to learn (an aside here…I failed every history course I ever took…yes, I know about Columbus but don’t pin me down on the year).
Does personal history count? Or does it have be relevant to an era of change and revolution? Does it have to relate to a “period” as in furniture….Queen Anne, Chippendale, etc?
Or can it be a simple tale with a beginning, a middle and an end which has a powerful effect on the people involved? No war, no history books, nothing era-specific, just a story?
There’s a blanket in this house that stands for a period of our family history. We know its whole life…..it started in a Target store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And now it lives on the May river in a 200 year old house. Every time it is touched, folded, washed, pulled up to a neck for warmth, spread out for a cat to sit on, it generates a flood….all within a nanosecond…of emotion, relief and gratitude.
It was the blanket we bought when our daughter-in-law was so terribly sick. There was no way the heating system in our little motel room could keep one of us (yes, me) warm enough. This one did the trick . We were there for three chilly months. Sarah lived. That was our goal. And that blanket …The AAB (Ann Arbor Blanket).. is a constant reminder of the ordeal, the hoped-for-outcome, the very fabric (yes, a little corny but true) of that time in our lives. And no one can tell me it doesn’t count as history. I know better.