Saying Thanks and Saving Memories

Thanks

“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.

Memories

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 at 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 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 this 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 favorite book

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


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17 responses to “Saying Thanks and Saving Memories

  1. What a great idea to print off blogposts to leave for grandchildren, greatgrandchildren and more.
    Does it prove to be a paper hungry process?
    Another fun exercise to write down what you would put in a time capsule that would be opened in 100 years……and maybe also what you would not include!
    More lovely sunshine to be grateful for today:-)

    • Well as you can imagine i have been writing each day since March 1 and so there are many to print off. And yes, it is a paper hungry exercise. Just doing a few each day until I catch up.

  2. ooops I missed out the word “is” after “exercise”. Too fast on the post comment button.

  3. What a wonderful gift for your children and grandchildren, Judith…I am fortunate that both my parents and some of my grandparents, and one of my great-grandmothers have written down stories from their lives.

    I know my kids will appreciate them more when they’re adults…

    Wendy

  4. A terrific idea. I’m also printing out each of my stories for making a book. Your children will love it, and the gift of memories is something we all can cherish in life. Thank you for the gift. great post !! 🙂

    • Hi Penny. My children are a little ho him about it at present but I am sure they will appreciate both when I am no longer here. I wish my parents had been able to do something like this for us.

  5. Christine in Los Angeles

    Judith, printing pages? Have you not heard of memory sticks? Where did I go wrong? (That computer class taught me at least one thing).
    God bless, Christine

  6. Yes I have heard of memory sticks and do use them. But as I tell people in my classes technology is changing so very quickly who knows whether the memory sticks that we use now will be in operation/vogue when I am dead.
    So I write and print out the blogs and memories and they will be produced into books.
    Take care big sister.

  7. I started a blog for my granddaughters with family stories and memories. I did this because I know my daughter will throw out all my books and journals so a blog can’t be destroyed.

  8. Judith I am not sure if you have a staples store there..but there are number of on line places where you submit yours pages in PDF and they print them up..I did a story for my grandson and it wasn’t expensive..now they do hard cover too!
    Chris

  9. Hello Chris. Yes, that is how I have had the Memories book printed. We don’t have Staples here but we have a variety of other stationers who do the same thing.
    Thanks for the thought.

  10. “To live in lives we leave behind is not to die.” Powerful! Is that your quote, Judith? I will memorize it and never forget it. It makes me sad-happy to think of it. And I like your idea of printing out all your blog posts and keeping them in a notebook to share later on. Would love to have taken your course, but if you write that book, that will do!

  11. Hi Susan. Yes that is my quote and I too love it. if you give contact me at jbaxter@clear.net.nz I can send you a pdf of the leader’s workbook so that you can do the course if you want to. My plan is to put the workbook in a form that anybody could use on their own – but that is on my TO Do list as I said.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Judith

  12. Judith – it’s a lovely idea. I want to say a few things, but first this link to TimeThief’s blog post about publishing blogs as books might be of help to you:
    http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/08/03/bloggers-publish-your-book-ebook-or-your-blog/

    Where to start? First of all, a few days before you posted this, I had begun writing my memories in an A4 notebook. They are not for my grandchildren as I don’t have any (I never had any children) and most of my relatives are older than me so there isn’t really anyone in my family to leave this to. I’m doing it for myself because I’m losing my memories. (I don’t know if it’s to do with medicine I’m on – I’m seeing the doctor in a few weeks about it- or something more serious. It strikes me as more specific than just general aging.) What I’m particularly writing for myself (and illustrating with drawings as I go along – I may add to them with some photos later, but at the moment I want to get down what I remember as quickly as possible) are good memories from childhood. Memories that give me pleasure, things I like to think about a lot. That makes a lot of sense to me.

    The other thing is – as well as writing stuff down for your grandchildren in book form – you could record your voice for them too (or do a movie) talking about some memories. Although it was just for myself and my sister (he didn’t want them published) I worked with my dad a few years before he died, to record his memoirs on tape. I’ve now got to get them onto CDs instead as magnetic media (audio cassettes included) doesn’t last. But my sister and I have over two dozen tapes of our dad’s voice – talking about his life from his earliest memories up until the 1970s. (I’m not sure why we stopped there.) But anyway, one can get mp3 recorders so maybe that’d be another – extra – option for you?

  13. That’s a lovely idea to have the voice of your father recorded. I think I shall set about doing this now.
    And thanks for the link to Time Thief. I am about to investigate that now.
    I hope that the memories problem is just the slowing down of the brain with age and not anything more serious.
    Judith

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