Daily Archives: May 20, 2011

Saying Thanks and Saving Memories


“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  ~G.K. Chesterton, 1874 – 1936 English writer and novelist

Today’s post must first be addressed to all those who have made comments on my blogs and whose comments have gone unacknowledged.

I decided that I would print out the blogs as a keepsake for my grandchildren so that they have some further idea about and insight into their Grandmother’s life and thoughts.  The plan is that they will be bound in a book form and left for them after I am dead.

So today I started on the task of printing.  And horror of horrors, I saw that in the early days of this blogging adventure, there were comments to which I hadn’t replied.  Well, maybe I could claim that I was unaware of comments and that they need to be replied to… But really, I do think that is a cop-out.

So to all of you who commented, my heartfelt thanks.  And if I didn’t respond I am truly sorry.  And here is a small gift for you all.


I am producing a Memory Book for my grandsons and so this Book of Blogs will be an adjunct to that.  The Memory Book is a random set of memories in no particular order, chronicling my life with their grandfather before I met him and since his death.


It is not meant to be writing my life story and it continues to be a work in progress.  I add memories when I think of something of interest.  I try to add at least one story a week but since I started on this blogging journey, I have not always managed to do so.

And when friends found out what I was doing they asked how they should go about doing the same thing.  So I put together a course on Gifting Your Stories to your Grandchildren.  I have run several courses and they have been well received.

Attendees on the course (which lasts for 6 weeks) are encouraged to write a story each week to bring to read to the other members.  Some of the stories are what you would expect of people’s lives but it is also amazing what some people have lived through.

There were tears and laughter aplenty in each session.  We had a few rules for the course, one of which was  “We will cultivate a safe environment in which to share our stories.  We will be non-judgmental and attentive to the needs of others in the group. ” This allowed the tears to flow.

One woman was in Tiananmen Square during the massacre and told how she lost touch with her friend, never to see him again.    If you are too young to remember this day in 1989 click here  for the BBC report.

Another woman told of being stopped when she was on her way home, in an area where warring factions were active, and having a knife held to her throat.  She told how many years later she could still smell the man’s breath as he leaned into her face. Apparently, she had never discussed this before with anybody other than family.  So I guess/hope it was a cathartic experience for her.

But many told of good things that had happened to them.  One man shared his joy when he discovered a child who had been adopted because he and his wife were not married.  They later did marry and it took some 20 years for them to be reunited with his son.

One woman told of her attempts at making a Christmas cake.  The whole place erupted into laughter.

One woman told of her travels and adventures in another land where she found herself and her children when her husband was transferred.  None of them (apart from the husband) had even a smattering of the local language.  As you can imagine this caused much hilarity both in real life and in the telling to the other members of the group.

So I encourage you to consider writing your memories.  I have a saying I coined for my courses, and it is now framed and on the wall of my study :

“Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories.”

One of the things I have on my TO DO list is to publish a book sharing how to do this.   I have all the information, the pages and a workbook so what is stopping me from publishing, even self-publishing as I have done with another book?

Cover of Book on Memories

And yet another quote from my favourite book

“She generally gave herself good advice (though she very seldom followed it)”  Lewis Carrol from Alice in Wonderland