Due to major and rather consistent computer connectivity issues the past 8 days, I did not get the interview off to Will as planned, so we’ll have his chat next week. Tonight things seem to be working a bit better and I hope they will continue to improve.
Today is National Grandparent’s Day. Not a widely recognized or celebrated holiday and I think that is a shame. What a wonderful opportunity to share family history with one another! What a terrific chance to let our elders – or in my case – the younger generations, know how precious they are to us. At our local Council on Aging program this past week, we had a cookbook signing for 20 authors! To encourage the seniors to share their love with others, I challenged them to write a book – and promised to help them get it ready for sale. So, recipes, accompanied by a little story about it and a photo of the author, fill the book we named Favorite Recipes. They sold 90 copies in the hour and a half of the event. They treated visitors to a taste of each recipe at the end of the gathering. So now there are 20 more stories in the world that show the history and culture of these families and this rural region. And, there are grandchildren now asking about that meal or story in the book. It’s important stuff!
Author Patricia Charpentier would admonish us to make the most of the days we have together and be sure to capture all the stories we can. She’s a memoir specialist, a vocation she pursued after realizing she couldn’t ask her deceased loved ones her questions. Why hadn’t she asked before they passed? We always think we have more time or that other things are more important.
But our history is important. Our stories are the only way that our future generations will get to know us. I came from a family that was very secretive. I was fortunate to find letters and a worn leather-bound diary in my parent’s home before the bulldozers arrived. It changed me as an adult to learn some of those “secrets” which were not all bad things. My picture of the family matured with what I learned. Would it have helped those relationships to have known things before they’d all passed? I suspect it might have. I was raised not to ask questions (a habit I’ve outgrown, though) so I didn’t. And, much was lost that I cannot share with my children and grandchildren about who they are in history and culture.
So while today is getting very long in the tooth, don’t save your memories and stories for a special day. Instead, I recommend we make every day special and make time to record our special memories and stories. Use a journal or a voice recorder, but don’t let it wait. Once we are gone home to the Lord, we cannot answer the questions our loved ones may have.
And anyone interested in capturing a memoir on a video, which is a lovely way to do it, I know a great couple in St. Augustine who do that work. Drop me an email and I’m glad to share their contact information with you!
Until next Sunday, stay safe, be well, and keep reading and writing!