“…As young people embark upon the journey of life and begin to hit rough patches," writes Johann Chrisoph Arnold, “we can provide balance and reassurance. Whether they think so or not, people who have weathered many storms possess much wisdom.
“Father Aldo Trento, a priest in Paraguay… has seen this firsthand: ‘The greatness of old age is that it has wisdom, which is…important for young people. A young person about to face life has thousands of problems, but an old man can demystify many of these problems.’” (from The Plough’s blog post, “Why Grandparents Matter,” emphasis mine)
So, since you no doubt have “have weathered many storms,”
what wisdom do you want your kids and grandkids
to know before you die?
What can you demystify for them?
Write those messages into stories for your memoir.
Write stories that give messages like:
This is what real love looks like: (write an account illustrating real love).
This is what respect looks like: (write an account…)
This is what integrity looks like: (write an account…)
This is what tenacity looks like:
This is what faithfulness looks like:
This is what faith in God looks like:
This is what honesty looks like:
This is what real beauty looks like:
This is what joy looks like:
This is what kindness looks like:
This is what humility looks like:
In your concluding chapter or your epilogue or post script, be sure to include thing such as:
I admire you for _____.
I respect you for _____.
I always enjoyed doing _____ with you.
I’m proud of you for doing ________.
I’ve prayed for you.
I have learned so much from you, including ____ and _____.
I’ll always remember __________.
Thank you for _____.
I love you.
Frederick Buechner’s questions can also help you write your memoir:
“Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo?
“Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?
“Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?
“If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?…” (Wishful Thinking)
Your stories can help shape your readers’ lives and assure them that you love and value them. Your stories can encourage them to hang in there when discouraged and to do the right thing when tempted to choose the wrong thing—and so much more!
Writing your memoir is not a hobby
—it is a ministry!
Believe that, and write!