Meet Linda Whitesitt
Dr. Linda Whitesitt believes there is power in people’s stories. In the telling and in the taking in, we are made more human.
A professional violinist, Linda has long been drawn to people’s stories—to write about them as a music historian and to invite others to share them on her radio program and on her website. She is the author of The Summer of Our Awakening: My Grandmother’s Solstice Story, co-author with her husband of We’re Surviving Cancer…Today, co-author of The ARTS Book: Designing Quality Arts Integration with Alignment, Rigor, Teamwork and Sustainability, and the author of scholarly publications on women and music.
Linda’s recent book, hope as wide as a prairie sky: the story of courage and grace, is a love story about her Swedish grandparents and their struggle to survive on two prairie homesteads in the opening decades of the 20th century.
Learn more and purchase here.
You can listen to a podcast featuring Linda and her latest book here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/210385/2758162-s2-e28-a-family-story
Linda invites you to share your stories about the ancestors who have inspired you on her website: www.treestories.net.
Check out Linda’s website here: www.treestories.net
A Sample of Linda’s Writing
I catch myself in a mirror,
unexpectedly see a face that’s not mine
but one I recognize instantly.
“Mother,” I think. “How wonderful!
But she’s not.
My next thought is —
“How can I possibly look like her?
Can I be that old already?”
After that somewhat self-absorbing thought,
I reconsider and think,
“What a blessing it is to see her again!”
Here we are.
I’ve become her.
She always said that someday
I’d know what it would be like to be her.
When she started to move so slowly on our walks,
and I urged her to keep up, she’d say,
“Someday you’ll know what it’s like
to have to slow down.”
When I’d get impatient with myself for not getting my life “right,”
whatever that is, she’d say,
“Someday you’ll know that you are getting it right.
It’s all good.”
When I despaired over losing a loving pet, she’d say,
“Someday you’ll know that letting go
is as much a part of life as holding on.
So now when I see my mom suddenly in a mirror,
I welcome our meetings. Thank her
for her words that echo in my life,
words that keep her close to me
in the times I need her the most.
What Linda says about WordPlay
“I am filled with gratitude that a series of wonderful synchronicities led me to Maureen and her “Gift of Memoir” classes — an amazing gift from a universe that helped me find exactly the teacher I needed when I was ready to find her. With Maureen as a trusted guide, what started as a project to write the story of my immigrant grandfather has morphed into a journey of self-discovery. In each class her words, her wisdom and her heart-tugging examples give me the courage to ask questions about his life, which in turn nudge me into taking the risk to retrieve unknown parts of myself and hunt for the words that bring them to life.
Maureen lovingly offers me the tools, the encouragement, the inspiration, the confidence and the safety to bring the unseen and unspoken bits and pieces of who I am into the light via words that surprise and confound me, offer comfort and bring revelation. In the process of looking for the words that capture my experiences and convey the fullness of who I am, I am discovering a wholeness of being that is both healing and exhilarating. And as members of the memoir class share stories of discovery with each other, as we tell about the joys and sorrows in our unique human lives, I revel in the richness of what we have in common and am thankful for both our guide and my sister travelers.”