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cowboysWhy Write Your Life's Stories?

Do you know all the people in those old black and white photos stashed away in a shoebox? Nope. I don't either. There's my Dad with a bunch of cowboys, obviously at a rodeo, and I don't have a clue who any of them were.

And there he is with one arm around a young lady, looking very pleased with himself, while she has a look of dismay on her face. I man and womanwonder who she is: a cousin, friend, girlfriend? No idea. There's nothing written on the back. No date; no place; no names. I only know it's my Dad because, well, he's my Dad!

How sad, though, that the others have faded into oblivion. I have no pictures of his mother, so I pretend this is her. What was she like, I wonder. She died before I was born. I wish I knew this woman — my grandmother — even if it's only on paper. I would give anything to come across a journal she had kept, or letters she had written, or stories my Dad wrote about her. But now Dad's gone, and there's no one to ask.

Writing our life stories is so important for future generations. Yes, I know... you think your life has been boring, nothing worth writing about. You might think writing your autobiography sounds pretentious, or that memoirs are only for celebrities. But consider the fact that each of us is a part of history. Our individual stories create the Dee & Grandma collective memories that become our legacy.

It's a fact that most of us, after reaching a certain age of maturity, begin to wonder about those we came from; about our parents and grandparents lives, our heritage, our ancestral countries. Haven’t you?

My maternal grandmother finally began writing about her life at age 90. I read about her growing up on a farm, being the youngest of 10 children, marrying at 16, and more I'd never known. She never did anything newsworthy, nor even very exciting, but nevertheless, I've treasured the opportunity to read and learn about her life.

Dee with her Grandma - at almost 102!     

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