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Old 12-19-2007, 12:34 PM
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
255 posts, read 1,101,749 times
Reputation: 155


For the past year I've been writing what our family laughingly calls "My Memoirs". I've usually worked on them during slow times during Open Houses and it's amazing how much time we spend on watching TV or looking for something to watch on TV when I found my time can be better used in leaving my family the story of my life. Our time here on earth is so short, it's a shame that we think about leaving money to our children but nothing that is more enduring.

My life has been very interesting and I truly want to leave that as a legacy of who I am. It's only me that can really tell the story. I'm reading Chapter 1 (33 pages) to them at Christmas when we'll all be together. I had so much fun writing it...I know they will enjoy hearing it too.

I am thinking of actually illustrating it and making it into a special book for each of my children. Has anyone else done this?
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:45 PM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,056,954 times
Reputation: 2141
My mother did that but she confessed to not including some really interesting stories about hard times or not so nice things and people. I think that is a shame because those are the things that really bring a life story to life and it was all so long ago. Some of the things wouldn't bat an eyelash now but she thinks should stay hidden. They would flesh out life in a bygone era.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:03 AM
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,834,488 times
Reputation: 18992
I agree, tell the "scandalous" details, they are part of who you are. Just be sure to add perspective.

IMO, I think it is good for children to realize the hardships and challenges that their parents overcame. To know that you made mistakes, but were able to change the course of your life. (Or, to know that you made a mistake that you couldn't correct... and always regretted.) Children find inspiration when they know that you were a real person, with real problems.

And it's good for kids to know that they weren't the first person to encounter drugs and they certainly didn't discover sex!

This might help you decide:

I wrote a little bit of my bio in an earlier thread. I added a few scandalous details. I'm not proud of them, but I believe in facing my life honestly--they made me who I am. Read my story and consider yourself writing an equally honest account... that will let you know how you feel about it. I personally like being honest, but if my story makes you uncomfortable you might prefer withholding a few details. It's the thread about "Are your best days ahead of you or behind you."
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:14 AM
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,834,488 times
Reputation: 18992
...oh, and another thought:

Don't mention names of other people involved in any scandalous details. (And don't tell the story in such a way that it is obvious who the other parties are.)

And if you are prone to depression, be sure to present your story in the most positive light possible. There are always several ways to view any story, telling your story in a positive way is good for your children... and healthy for you!

It might just change your life to write out your story and force yourself to see that you aren't the terrible person you think you are.
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Old 12-23-2007, 07:28 AM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,056,954 times
Reputation: 2141
Wise words, Normie. There are some people who truly are evil (Stalin, Hitler, Osama bin Laden come to mind), but most of us do the best we can and have to sometimes make difficult choices. We are human and will make some bad choices. It really is whether you learn from them or not.

In my mother's case, it became very clear why the social programs were created. Some of the things she experienced and the very, very difficult choices my grandmother had to make with her very young family were heartbreaking. And they happened to a very hard working woman (12 hrs/day, 6 days/week) who had tragedy hit thru no fault of her own - and she was educated. It makes me very grateful for so many of the changes in society.
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:24 PM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,918 posts, read 6,243,653 times
Reputation: 2646
Interesting thread. I have been planning on doing something similar. On one hand, I can understand not wanting to reveal certain aspects of one's life, yet, as has been pointed out, it also brings a sense of being truly human. (Normie, I did enjoy your previous post about your history....very interesting! )

I remember when I was younger and my great-grandmother was having an eye removed -- my mother was in the room with her while it was being done, and I guess because she couldn't see the shocked look on my mother's face, she proceeded to tell about all these scandelous details of her life! My mother said she just about dropped on the floor, but since my great-grandmother couldn't see her, she just kept on talking! It was really interesting because there were family "secrets" she revealed but no one would've known otherwise.

Thanks for reminding me of this project -- I ought to get going on it pretty soon!
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