Thursday, May 20, 2010


"There is a land of the living and a land of the dead - and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning." Thornton Wilder

After my mother passed away in 2008, we began the long process of sorting through the many things she had saved in her 84 years on this earth. We were anxious to find "the story of her life." For years, she'd talked about the family history she was working on. It would include stories about her life and those of our ancestors.

We searched every nook and cranny. Finally we located the large leather-bound journal that we'd given her years ago to record the stories of her life. Holding my breath, I carefully opened the book... It was blank - not a word! What had happened to all the stories she told us over the years? There was nothing left, nobody to ask anymore...

While we found detailed geneological records (Thanks, Mother!)- names, birth,and death dates going back several hundered years - the stories were gone.

This was a wake-up call for me, hopefully for all of us. How many of you plan to write your life - someday? Sometimes it's too late by the time we get around to it. Important pieces of our lives disappear into misty memories that change over time.

I decided to complete my mother's final goal in life - writing our family history. Of course, there will be missing pieces. The stories will be told from my point of view. It will be MY story, my legacy for my children, grandchildren, and on down the family tree.

I encourage you to write the story of your life. I am fortunate to have thousands of pages of my old journals to jog my memory as I write.You may have old letters, old photos, and other mementos to jog your memory. If not, there are some great resources out there to help you recall childhood memories and family stories:

"Writing Your Life, Putting your Past on Paper" by Lou Willett Stanek

"My Life, A Collection of Memories" by Alison Bing (includes thousands of memory-jogging questions - and space for you to write your answers, to write your life)

Stay tuned - and please stay in touch!

Janet Kay

No comments:

Post a Comment