writing down memories and stories a blueprint

Just as it’s fun to look at the plans for a house, writing down memories and stories can help you see how a family was built.

It’s not just me. Other bloggers have some great advice when it comes to preserving and sharing  memories and telling family stories and why it matters.

Here are two that give a poignant personal perspective:

Writing Down Memories and Stories: a Blueprint for Life

In Speak Easy: Sometimes memories can make you feel blue, Julie Stroebel writes about remembering playing with her contractor dad’s old blueprints. The feelings that accompanied the rush of recall surprised her.

I didn’t feel as guilty for letting time smother childhood memories as I did for being surprised at their rediscovery.

I especially felt guilty at the prospect of the memories being reburied when I resumed life’s daily distractions…

With each childhood memory that resurfaces, I write it down. That excavation of memories — and the preservation of them — is important.

Each tidbit I recall, however vivid or incomplete, gets written down. The pages keep filling up.

They are an album of memories in words instead of photographs. They show a progression of who I was to who I am.

The act of writing them down and hanging onto them shapes who I will be.

You might even call them a blueprint of who I am.

 

Writing Down Memories and Stories Matters Because “Not everyone is a storyteller…”

In Written word makes family legacies last, Dorcas Smucker shares the value of a written family history. She stumbled upon a book not too different from my grandmother’s “Treasure Chest of Memories.”

If my husband’s Great-aunt Berniece hadn’t written it down, who but a few aunts would remember how the family ended up on this spread of farmland along Muddy Creek, and how a girl from Switzerland became my children’s great-great-great grandma?…

… A written record is also valuable because not everyone is a storyteller. While reading “Memories of Mary,” I was shocked to realize that if we depended entirely on my husband passing on his family history, our children would know only a tiny slice of it. He is great at passing along the values but less adept at repeating the tales.

Also, books are not limited by distance. Great-grandchildren on the other side of the country, far from the aunts and family reunions, can have the same stories easily at hand.

We have this record only because Berniece, the youngest of a large family, recognized the value of recording the family history and decided it was her job to make it happen.

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