A Memorial Project

With all the recent goals I’ve set for myself, I was shocked to wake up this morning with a very strong impression that I have one more project I need to do.

A year ago this week, my mother passed on Easter morning during the wee small hours. My sister and I had just left her side a few minutes before. One of her last lucid concerns was that we preserve and distribute her stories. For the last several years of her life, she’d been writing out memories of her travels and thoughts about problems in the world today. Each “essay” was hand-written, and she’d ask me to “type them on that computer contraption”. (Mom was not quite ready for 20th century technology, let alone 21st century gadgets.) We assured her we had all the stories safely stored and ready to share, but in my brain I was thinking, “But they’re snoozers.”

My mother was a fascinating woman, educated at Harvard and St. Andrews Universities (among others). But in all her academic writing, she’d never grown accustomed to using adjectives. She had a knack for telling a story of the most amazing places and experiences in a way that made them sound like something from a 1950’s text book.

You can see where this is going, right?

Some of her stories are really worth telling, but they need to be told with some vivid imagery and emotion. Since she told me all the stories verbally before she wrote them down, my hope is to recreate her memories in such a way that readers beyond our immediate family might enjoy her travels and some of the poignant lessons she learned therefrom.

So, I’ll be adding one more project to the list. Here’s the placeholder cover, and yes. That’s her in front of the Taj Mahal.

Have you ever written stories from your family history? What’s a favorite anecdote that’s been passed down?

4 thoughts on “A Memorial Project”

  1. Oh my. I am really looking forward to reading this. Partly because of the stories Shelly told, and partly because I’m illustrating events from my own parents lives. I do love seeing events and timeline snapshots through the lives and eyes of others.

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