Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Write Life Stories

Yesterday, I had the joy of listening to a set of twins tell their life story at a meeting I attended. They are 66 years old, were both teachers, and they still live together and often dress alike but not always. We laughed at many of the questions that people have asked them over the years about being twins and looking so much alike.  One was "Do you know which one you are?" The twins had pictures to show as they told their life story from infancy to today. 

As the quote for today indicates, no one could have told the twins' story any better than they did themselves. I hope that someday they write their story for future generations, especially for any twins nieces and nephews might have. The highlights they gave yesterday made me think that they would have many wonderful incidents to put into a full written story.

You don't have to be a twin to tell or write your story. Telling is fine but writing will allow it to be shared by many over the years. My childhood of the 1940's and '50's was completely different than that of my four grandchildren growing up in the 21st century. I want them to know what life was like when their grandfather and I were kids. 

The thrill we got with our first television set, one with a teeny tiny round screen set in a big console is something they would most likely laugh about, But maybe it would help them appreciate their own 48 inch flat screen TV a bit more. Our grandchildren all live in houses but I grew up in a large apartment building. With over 60 apartments, we had our own little city. Our play place was concrete, not the grass they know. The minuscule freezer in our small fridge held one tray of ice cubes and a pint of ice cream. Theirs? Well, you know how today's freezers hold.

When my grandchildren go shopping with their mothers, they get in the car and speed off to the mall. My mother and I used public transportation--bus or elevated train--to get where we needed to shop.

I have written multiple stories about me and my family that I send to my children and grandchildren. I write the stories for them and for whatever children might come later. I could tell them the stories but if I write them, they are preserved forever. I do tell them the stories sometimes but I make sure they are also written.

Don't make it a I should do that sometime thing. If you haven't started already, set a goal to write one a month. You might enjoy it so much that you'll soon aim for one a week. Even if your grandchildren, or your own children, are still infants, write those stories now and you'll have them ready when they are older. When something triggers a memory, jot down a few notes so you can write the story later.

Write your own story but include your family members--parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins. They're all a part of your very own story. You don't have to be a professional or published author to write stories about your life. Anyone can do it.

The Our Echo website has a motto at the top that I've always liked. It says Everyone has a story. What's yours? This website for people to post their stories is not as active as it was when it had a strong leader but you can still read lots of good stories by people who are writers and people who are everyday folk wanting to preserve their family stories. 

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