But today I read the Armchair Genealogist’s blog, “Would YouRather Clean the Shower Tile Than Write Your Family History?” by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, who is the guest writer. Then I read her essay on her mother in “Switched at Midlife” in hippocampus magazine. And I felt myself duly chastised.
Yes, I am guilty of not getting something put together before the person who asked for it died. Ouch. And now my parents have died. And I begin to think about all the people I’ve known – known well – in my life – people who have now passed on. Sometimes it seems I know more dead people than live people! Why am I not writing what I know?
What I know about these people dies with me if I don’t tell it. How many times have I asked a question – “Dad, tell me about your grandparents – your brother”? How much better if he had written it down. I remember one time my dad told me about his spiritual journey. He wouldn't let me tape record our conversation. He told me he would write it down. I found the journal he started in. He wrote three sentences and then nothing more. I’m sure he just never got around to it. I have scraps of paper from both of my parents with lists of things – events – stories – they planned on writing down. Lists tucked carefully into the pages of an unused “my story” type journal.
So at what point can I say I've lived long enough to write about it? Am I old enough to write what I know? Why do I think, like they, that there will be time for that later? So, while it is not New Year’s, it looks like it could be outside. We are buried into a week-long snow storm here. Roads are closed, schools are closed – seems like a good day to make a resolution, a good day to begin.