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Her words painted a vivid picture of him that made me miss him acutely.
After all, you don’t your life in chronological order.
Memories tend to pop up at random, triggered by the strangest things. I have an encyclopedia-style document on my computer where I gather memories under alphabetized topics: “Adventures with Jori,” “Body Quirks,” “Cheese,” etc.
Not only did he keep the original box for years and years, he also took the time to wipe off dirty lawn equipment before putting it away.
I loved that detail; I can picture him doing exactly that.
I’m so grateful to all of my cousins and aunts for contributing their perspectives, despite any writing insecurity they might have felt.
Now we have a well-rounded picture of this man we all loved, from those who knew him as a young father and those who knew him as an aging grandfather, from those who saw him daily and those who visited a few times a year. Typing is so much easier.” Let me just ask you this: Have you ever encountered a recipe written in your grandmother’s hand and thought anything other than, “Wow, I miss her.” Your handwriting is unique to you.Let these simple tips inspire you to put pen to paper. Rowling couldn’t tell your stories better than you can.No one is more qualified to tell your family’s story than you are. One of the reasons my cousin’s words came so alive for me is because her family members are all great verbal storytellers.Walk around, notebook in hand, and see what memories surface.You can also use questions or writing prompts, like the #52stories project, to trigger memories and stories.You are absolutely the best person in the world to write your story and your family history. They get together and reminisce and repeat some of the same stories over and over.You are the only human being ever born to this earth who has your unique perspective and life experiences. This practice adds structure to fragmented memories, making it easier to write them down later.In a notebook or a computer document, write down each year you’ve been alive. Now start adding in all of the big turning points that divide your life into chapters: being born, going to school, moving, changing schools, reaching religious milestones, learning to drive, graduating, getting a job, changing jobs, getting married, having children.Unhappy events like divorces and deaths will make the list too. If all you ever complete in your personal history is this list of major life events, that’s a better than nothing.Return to top I already know what some of you are going to say. Your family will to have some of your words written in your own hand. Just do your best to allow your authentic voice to shine through.They won’t judge you for sloppy or imperfect handwriting. The more your written words reflect the way you speak, the better.