“I find out more and more every day how important it is for people to share their memories.” – Fred Rogers
It seems like the right time to share this quote. Now, when we are all sheltering-in-place. Now, when we have to time to write and reflect. Now, when we are faced daily with rising deaths and a virus that is devastating our country.
In January, I received one of the best gifts ever from my youngest son and his wife. The concept is fairly simple. Each week, my son sends me a question. I write my response directly onto his blog or the Storyworth site. At the end of the year, this company will curate all of my responses and create a book. If I choose, I can upload pictures and I have a chance to go back to each response and edit them before the book is published.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this project. This provides a structure that enables me to share family lore, memories and information that I want to leave my family. Like most of us, I wanted to write some type of memoir, but I simply didn’t know where to begin or how to structure it. “You can eat an elephant if you do it a bite at a time.” A bite at a time, I am plowing through and creating a permanent legacy.
Through this project, I am also bonding closely with my son. The site offers suggested questions, but together we decided that we want to “go deeper”. To that end I came up with some possible questions, as did my son. At first, I was going to address it to all five of our children, but I decided to write this book as a series of letters to my youngest son. Obviously, the text will be there for him to share with his siblings. It’s been a rewarding experience for both of us. Recognizing its value, my goal is to continue and create a book in conjunction with the other four kids.
This Great Pause in life is the perfect time to get started on a project like this. Many of my friends are rummaging through their photos and mementos so they can share them with their families, as well. Don’t let this time pass you by. Remember Fred Roger’s meaningful quote. Storyworth is the name of the company for the book I’m writing. Check it out if you are interested.
No matter what your age, writing your thoughts and memories is a cathartic and important experience. If you are home with your children during this time, it’s an easy and enjoyable way to show them the value of writing. Grab an old copy book, jot down what it’s like to live during this challenging time, pour out your heart on the page and invite your kids to do the same. There are many ways to nurture literacy. Encouraging your kids to write for authentic reasons is a great one!