On Sunday we heard a story on forgiveness which was one of my mother’s favourites. She often used it as a children’s message and it still touches my heart whenever I hear it. Originally written by author Richard Pindell a long time ago it was called ‘Somebody’s Son’. In the story an errant son returning home after a term in Gaol writes to his mother. He asks her to show that he is welcome by tying a white handkerchief on the tree in the back garden which could be viewed from the train. Even if you have not heard the story I’m sure you have already guessed what happened. I tracked down an American account where the letter has become a phone call and another where the white hankies were white ribbons. This then lead me to think of the seventies song ‘Tie a Yellow ribbon round the old oak tree.’ The story is still about forgiveness but now the mother is a wife or sweetheart, and the train has become a bus. Its interesting how stories, like Chinese whispers, evolve. I was lucky to have my mother’s story, ‘a farthing cone’ directly from her and my grandmother. Even so, my cousin Gill was able to document that my Great, Great grandfather was not named Patrick but Alfred (now corrected in the trilogy). Where did mum get that from? how did that evolve? Was he Irish? I don’t know! What am I trying to say here? If you have a story to pass on, tell it yourself, so that only the facts get recorded. Go on! You can do it.