RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Time now for StoryCorps. Over 60,000 people have recorded their stories or interviewed a loved one for this project. Each of them was guided through the process by a StoryCorps facilitator. That's the person who records the conversations.
Today we're going to hear from a facilitator. Her name is Lillie Love. If you recorded a StoryCorps interview in Atlanta recently, you may have met her. We're sad to report that Lillie died last week. She was 53. She recorded an interview of her own when she started working for StoryCorps.
Lillie sat down with another facilitator, Anthony Knight, to reflect on how her life had turned out differently than she'd imagined.
Ms. LILLIE LOVE: When I was 13, I mapped out my life and made some critical decisions about what kind of life I was going to have. And I thought that at 52 I would be married with children and hopefully grandchildren. But instead, very little of that actually happened. I did get married - it didn't last. I was pregnant several times and I had miscarriages.
And so it's like designing a dress while you're wearing it. You know, you can't really fashion a life for yourself at 13 and think that that's going to fit you for the rest of your life.
So I realized I'm not going to be the wife and I'm not going to be the mother. What else is there for me? And what there was for me is to be a terrific sister, to be a wonderful friend, to be a great aunt. So I tell people the life that I have now is not the life I thought I would have but is the life that is perfect for who I am, and I never would have thought that when I was younger.
And I don't make things bigger than what they are. I don't borrow trouble. People like, oh, I can't wait till Friday. You don't hear me saying that. I thank God for ordinary Tuesdays, because the ordinary days means that nothing really great happened but nothing really bad happened either.
Mr. ANTHONY KNIGHT: I think more people should live by those...
Ms. LOVE: Yeah, thank God for an ordinary, boring Tuesday where you think life is in a rut. I love ruts because it's predictable.
Mr. KNIGHT: Well, let's project into the future.
Ms. LOVE: I don't do that anymore. I learned my lesson about creating clothing for 20 years down the road. You don't know what size you're going to be, you don't know what's going to fit you. I have learned to just let the universe give me what it is that I need. So if I can keep it simple and I can keep it real and my family's okay, I'm okay.
(Soundbite of music)
MONTAGNE: StoryCorps facilitator Lillie Love died last Friday in Atlanta. Lillie had only one rule for people whose lives she helped record: she hugged you at the end of the session.
Her own conversation, along with all the others, will be archived at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps podcasts are at NPR.org.
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