My dad is back guest posting again! Hooray!
This is a great idea for all of us to consider, regardless of whether we have 20 years of memories or 80. Capturing those memories for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren is priceless. I know so many of you are already doing this via blogging and that is fantastic. But if you’re not a blogger (or if your blog is on a “topic” like this one) consider starting a memory scrapbook…
Everyone has a book in them. This is a firm belief that I have had for some time. We all have life experience memories that we can recall and which are certainly worth recording. It could even be argued that it is more than just casually important that these remembrances be recorded so as to not be lost forever. Family history and facts are being lost every day. Things of the past, not recorded, are slipping away at light speed. Much is being recorded about the now, but the richness of who we were 20, 30, 50, 60, years ago is not being recorded.
So how do we get these rich memories into a book? Most persons will find the thought of doing an autobiography frightening. It is just too much to imagine that “I will do my biography.” Not even a possibility for most of us.
Let’s consider the need here. The real need is to not lose the memories. So, why not just record the memories. And the memories don’t need to be in any time framed order to start with. You could go back and group memories if you desired, but that’s for later as you see the need.
Try starting with this first question:
What is my very first memory?
Here is my answer:
My very first memory is of when I was 3 or 4 years old. My brother who was 11 months older than me, and I, were playing outside in the dirt with a couple of tiny little metal trucks. We were playing outside of our house. It was attached to the back of our fathers little neighborhood grocery store, Roy’s Grocery. It was the summertime. I know this because I remember the dirt was really dry and dusty and we were both only wearing summer shorts; no shoes, no little t-shirts. A thing that I remember is that, at a point, he pulled the trucks away and wouldn’t let me play with them anymore. I am not sure why, but they were his trucks and I was smaller and we were not playing together anymore. I don’t remember the feelings that I had, but I do remember experience visually. This was in the summer of 1948 or 49.
This memory and all memories are part of our life experience. In some small, small way it’s part of who I am. It’s even part of what our culture was and is. The memories will belong to all of us, if we can pass them along.
Try at first to stay away from those bad memories that are not ready to be put into words on paper. That could come later as you become more comfortable with reaching back into the past.
Try not to link one memory to another. Include an approximate date. Each memory should be able to stand alone.
Try to keep memory records to only one page per memory. You are drawing out the book within you. You are not writing a book.
Try to do one memory every day. Two or three would also be OK. Don’t try to do it all really quickly.
Print each page as you complete the memory. Proof the page and make changes as desired. Seeing the memory in print will be different than on your monitor.
Gather the pages into a three ring binder and keep them for your children and grandchildren. Take the idea as far as you wish. Just get started!
Who knows? Maybe someday your memories will be more important than you could have guessed.
Take care and be blessed!
I’ve got to tell you, reading this small little moment from my dad’s past was so special for me. I could picture it in my mind and it’s something I’ll now take forward with me into my future with my own children.
A few additional tips:
* Not everyone is comfortable writing. If not, you could use a web cam to make short videos of your memories. What great fun for your grandkids to see you speaking in your own words about your life.
* If you blog your memories you can later turn them into a really cool book quite easily using something like Blurb Bookify.
* Add pictures if you have them. Or go back and add them later.
* Hand write a few of the memories. Our handwriting is our unique mark in the world and seeing something penned by your own hand will be especially dear to your loved ones.
I wish you the best of luck as you embark on your adventure of sharing your history!