Even though I was born over a decade after my parents returned to the US, I know all the England stories because my mother faithfully recorded her life in a series of many journals and letters spread over more than forty years. She passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2000, and we now cherish a drawer full of daily journals that chronicle important milestones, as well as the small comings and goings, of the precious but ordinary life of a woman that we love.
Will the next generation remember your stories? May is Personal History Month and the perfect time to start journaling your memories for those who come after. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Write in the first person, but try not to use the word "I" in every sentence.
- Record your early memories as you recall them. Don’t worry about getting every detail right.
- While you definitely need to include the big events of your life, such as college graduation, marriage and the births of your children, be sure to include small personal stories and events that give flavor to your everyday life.
- Include as many details of places you lived and people that were important to you as possible.
- Let your readers hear your voice! Don't try to write like someone else.
- Look at old photos and talk to siblings and long-time friends to jog your memory.
Personal memoirs are not only for the likes of Winston Churchill and Ulysses S. Grant. Make journaling your personal history a regular part of your life.
by Cindy Leaders, UsefulBooks