In The Corners Of My Mind

Saturday, July 21, 2007
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far. I can’t believe it’s half over already.

This weekend has proved to be one of great insight for me. Two of my brothers, Cam and Ian, came to visit me this weekend. It was a wonderful visit especially since we hadn’t seen one another in about seven years. I’ve always found it so comforting that no matter what chaos exploded around us, my siblings and I have remained close.

Homemade wine was poured, scrumptious barbeque was devoured and memories flowed. We laughed, we cried and we hugged as we each took turns pulling out our memory cards from the corners of our minds (as well as what’s happened since we last got together). As I listened and shared, I wondered: who would share our hilarious childhood antics and who would tell our stories of closeness and survival after we’ve passed on?

Now that I have children, it’s become important to me to leave my stories behind – both of my life and of their lives - as I saw it. Here are a few things you can try to preserve your own memories:

(a) Start a baby journal. This is a little book you write down all the goings on during your child’s baby years and beyond. I started one during pregnancy with each of my children. I record what pregnancy was like, what I craved, what happened in the world at the time I was pregnant, what they were like as babies, recorded their development achievements and anything exciting that happened in their lives. I plan to record things until they grow up so they can read about their lives from my eyes and in my voice.

(b) Create a scrapbook. This has become a popular way to keep memories alive. Scrapbooks are like photo albums with a boost. If you go to a craft store, you have so many options to make your scrapbook original and personal.

(c) Build a memory box. This can be a chest you put together from Ikea or an old chest you fix up. You can even decorate an old cardboard box. The idea is to create a personal box to keep photos, letters, journals or other memory treasures that tell a story of your life or the life of the person you made it for.

(d) Leave a legacy. Collect stories from all your family members and put them together in a book to unfold the story of your family. You can use this idea for your children, for a valued friendship or anyone else you adore and want to remember and be remembered.

This weekend also reminded me of my dear grandmother. Grandma loved to tell us stories of her youth. She was a young thriving artist living alone in New York with a bunch of schoolmates and, oh, the stories she told. Sadly, Grandma was slowly taken from us – a victim of Alzheimer’s - and her stories faded as her memory did. I wished one of us thought to record her stories at the time. Now, I make sure mine will always be here – long after I’m gone.

There are so many different ways to create memory treasures. How will you make sure your memories stay alive? Can you think of other ways?

Happy writing.



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