There is a certain truth you must realize when writing a memoir: You are the central character in the story, therefore you must write about who you are. You cannot assume that the reader knows you, even if they are a close relative.
According to Emory University researchers, “children who know stories about relatives who came before them show higher levels of emotional well-being.”
In other words, kids who know more about their family history are inclined to be more emotionally resilient than children who are deprived of such information. A child who feels like they are part of something larger than themselves – such as a family – have a greater sense of their “inter-generational self.”
When we are younger, each milestone in our lives holds monumental importance. We gather keepsakes: a movie ticket stub from that first important date, a snapshot of where you met. Your wedding gown, those tiny baby booties, your child’s first preschool crayon art rendering.
Do you attend class reunions or avoid them? I have friends who regularly organize class reunions and other friends who wouldn’t go even if they were paid to attend. I’ve been on both sides – eagerly attending some reunions and dismissing others.
Can you drive fast enough to catch up with 60 years? Marcia Orland, 76 years old and 12 years into a second career as personal historian, decided to find out.
When loved ones are dying it’s easy to feel helpless. We desperately want and need comfort. And we yearn to stay connected as long as possible.
Music can be the gift that offers both comfort and connection.
Here are some stories of people whom it helped during their time in hospice care.
As I turn 65 this year, my mother has been gone for 17 years. Yet, I still feel her presence in my life in many ways. Also, as time passes, I come to have more appreciation for her and a better understanding of her ways.
There’s a popular, long-running radio show in the U.K. called Desert Island Discs. The premise behind the show is quite simple: A guest is invited by the host to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island. It’s really a vehicle for getting famous people – whether that’s Bill Gates or David Beckham or Zaha Hadid – to narrate their lives through music.
My first car was a 1973 Pontiac Firebird, candy apple red with a white roof and a black interior. My father gave it to me for Christmas in 1972 as a reward for my pending college graduation the following May.
I confess. I’m in love with the blank page.
It’s a metaphor for how one comes in to the world. The moment you announce yourself with a whimper or scream your blank page begins to fill with memories. Throughout childhood – when you are most vulnerable – memories are often written for you. Not all of them happy.