I did it!
Well, I somewhat did it. At least I made a start!
I compiled family stories for my grandsons in time for Christmas. WoooHoooo!
You might recall that for a couple of years my oldest grandson, Chase, has been asking me to do so.
Last September when Chase asked again, I knew the time had come, as if God nudged me, “You’ve gotta do this, Linda, as an inheritance. Leave this legacy for your family. Do it. Do it now.”
Since then I’ve been working on God-and-us stories for Chase and his two brothers, Finn and Kade—not because our family is so great, but because God is so great.
I sent the boys a collection of random stories, mostly my own but also a few my mother told—since she’s still alive and the boys know her.
Mom’s stories are about growing up in eastern Ontario, Canada, during the Great Depression, about winter travels in a horse-drawn open sleigh with sleigh bells. It occurred to me that when my grandsons sing Jingle Bells, they might have no idea what an open sleigh is, or sleigh bells, so I rounded up these pictures, one old and one current.
Another of my mom’s stories is about the Christmas during the Depression when she asked her parents for a fountain pen. Since the boys have no clue what a fountain pen is, I included old pictures.
Do you remember the Tom Durr story? And my struggles to write it? I rearranged it and finally finished it—after trying half a century to do so! It, too, has a place in my collection.
I snapped the stories into a three-ring binder for now, will keep sending the boys more stories and, I hope, will put them into book format in coming months or years.
This temporary binder format allows me to play around with the order in which to place the stories, and I’m glad of that since currently they feel helter-skelter.
Because of that, yesterday I took comfort in stumbling upon an old Mary DeMuth quote:
Try departing from chronology: Most people tell their stories in chronological order. Why not brainstorm new ways to structure your memoir?
Maybe make it present to past.
Or use a memory that weaves its way through various episodes of your life.
Or try a strategic leap from one memory to another.
Or capture a memory related to a period of history.
Answer this: How would trying something other than chronology change the face and feel of your memoir?
What about you? Over the holidays did you give family members your stories? If so, please leave a comment below or on Facebook (click on the word "Facebook" toward the top right in this blog). We’d love to hear from you!