As I think of the special memories I have made throughout my life, I know how important it is to share them with others. I want my family and friends to know whatever part they played will always be remembered. When I am no longer here to tell them I hope I have kept enough pictures and documentation to draw interest to my being at a special place, at a special time, for my future descendants to know me and my many interests or talents. Perhaps they will discover they have some of the same interest and talents. I truly believe I inherited creativity from my grandmothers. History should begin with our own heritage. Memories are moments to cherish forever. Write them down.
Highlights in our Life
I lost my Aunt Arlene back in May of two thousand and eleven. She had always shared a special memory of when she was a young woman. She performed live on stage at the Bloomsburg Fair in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania with Jimmy Dean. It was the highlight of her life. At her funeral her family handed out copies of a newspaper clipping she had kept for many years. We are not sure the year, but we believe it was in the late 60s or early 70s. Perhaps with some research we can find out. The point is she wanted everyone to know about the memories she made. Memories are moments to be cherished forever.
When I think about how important my own memories are to me and how much I fear forgetting a single one of them I believe that’s what got this writing bug stirred back up in my mind. I must write things down, date them, talk about them and recall how much I cherish each of my own precious moments.
Memories really are moments to cherish. Write them down.
I have always written in a journal from time to time, but admit to leaving many gaps which I no longer can recall. I write to keep my memory fresh. I can’t let my brain get lazy. I realize the importance of scrapbooks, photo albums and maintaining good records for ourselves as well as our family. I keep telling myself one of these days I’m going to go through all of those loose photographs I have collected and organize them for my kids. Many of these do not have dates or names on them. If I can’t remember I can’t expect my kids to know who are in these pictures or what year it was.
Many of our most cherished memories may not have a picture or a newspaper clipping to remind anyone of them. We may not even talk about them to the younger generation, thinking they wouldn’t be interested. The truth is our young peers may be more interested than we think. I loved to hear my parents, grandparents and other elders tell their stories. I recall well many of the things they were excited to talk about. I wish I would have asked for more tales while many of them were still here among us. Perhaps these would be interesting stories for the next generation. I guess I better get busy writing the ones down they told me. Memories really are moments to cherish forever.
Memories of Meeting Special People
I remember well my dad telling me how thrilled he was to meet one of his favorite western stars, Gabby Hayes, back when dad was serving during the Korean War. Dad had no photograph of this special occasion in his life. He only had the memories he was pleased to share. I’m not sure if he ever told us the year he saw Gabby Hayes or the place, but dad’s devotion to westerns raised awareness in me as well as my siblings. To this day I still love to watch the classic westerns so well presented back in the day when they were popular among all viewers. I, too, was privileged to meet one of my favorite western stars for the first time just this past year in October of 2011 at a horse show in Swanton, Ohio. I got to see him again May 31, 2012 at the Memphis Film Festival in Olive Branch, Mississippi. James Drury was every bit as amazing for me to meet as Gabby Hayes was for my dad. Memories are moments to cherish forever.
It was just this past week that my son, Jason, got to meet his favorite race car driver, Rusty Wallace. Rusty Wallace is now retired, but Jason was in awe, at the least to finally meet him. For a young man who enjoyed picking on his mom for getting excited about meeting a retired legend, I’m sure now he has a different thought about the event. I am so happy he, too got to meet someone so special to him.
We must never think someone won't be interested.
Good memories can only be extremely exciting to us if the moments are recalled vividly in our minds and we have someone to tell them to. Someone will be interested to know what we have cherished in life. In years to come as we review our heritage we may discover things about ourselves may very well have come from someone telling us a story about their own adventures. Traditions start somewhere. If you think common stories told by common folks aren’t interesting you may never have gotten involved in books, movies and television shows based on real lives. If Laura Ingalls Wilder had thought this way, Little House on the Prairie never would be still drawn to the public view.
Memories are special even when they belong to someone else.
When you can’t think of anything to write about look to your ancestors, look to your elders and recall your own life stories. Memories are moments to cherish forever. Write them down so the next generation can get to know us better than they ever would have otherwise. I never knew my grandfather who passed away the year I was born, but I know he was a veteran of World War 1 and years later my grandmother was presented with a special letter of honor signed by John F. Kennedy for my grandfather’s part as a soldier. Grandma cherished that letter and it hung on her wall in a frame for everyone to see. She wasn’t a writer, but she cherished the memory of her husband well enough to make sure everyone knew of his accomplishment. Memories really are moments to cherish forever even if you are sharing someone else’s memories. Write them down. Don’t let a special memory go unrecorded when it meant so much to someone you care so much about. Even the best selling fiction novels could very well be based on a special event that really happened.