Monday, April 16, 2012

Stories. Life Stories

One of my favourite hairdo's at the moment..
you know if anyone cares about how I liked hair in a hundred years...

Lately I've been thinking about journals. Writing out some history.

Last month we had our Annual Relief Society Commemoration.

We had a sit down dinner and discussed our favourite parts of this book.

daughters in my kingdom

One sister commented on a favourite section. page 32-33

It was about a womans journal entries.

July 14, 1846  I am very uncomfortably situated for a sick woman. The scorching sun shining on the wagon through the day and the cool air at night, is almost too much of a change to be healthy

October 15, 1846 We have taken posession of our log house today. The first house my babe was ever in. I feel extrememly thankful for the priveledge of sitting by a fire where the wind cannot blow every direction where I can warm one side without freezing the other. Our house is minus floor and many comforts but the walls protect us from wind if the sod roof does not from the rain

December 6 1846 My baby is sick and getting worse. Has cried all day but I cannot see what ails him

December 12 1846. The baby is dead and I mourn his loss. We have done the best we know for him, but nothing has done any good; he continued to fail from the time he took sick. My sister caroline and I sat up every night with him and tried to save him from death, for we could not bear to part with him, but we were powerless.. I still have friends who are dear to me. If I had not I should wish to bid this world farewell, for it is full of disappointments and sorrow. but I believe there is a power that watches over us and does all things right

June 1 1987 Sister Elvira Holmes baby died. Recieved an invitation to come and spend the day with her which I accepted.

The sister said that this reminded her of the importance of keeping a journal. Even though the woman was from a different time to ours she felt connected to that sister from hundreds of years before. Even though years seperate us we often have the same feelings and challenges!  We too have felt cold or sick. We too have complained of the weather. We too have put up with substandard cheap accomodation.  We too have sat up all night with an ailing child. Hopefully none of us will go through the loss of a child but we can understand her pain and see that we do make it through trials, and then we are required to help others and strenthen those who may go through similar trial. She felt strengthened that other sisters feel the same way she has at times.

We never know when OUR words may bouy up another!

YES! Oh yes I so needed to hear that. I want to leave something interesting behind for my family to read about me. That my children and grandchildren may see that our lives are in different times but can still be similar. I also want to leave advice or feelings to them, that though I might not be there I understand!

Ever since starting this blog I have been terrible at journal keeping. I supposed that is what this is meant to be. Except that this can in no way be personal enough. I'm not sure I'm that vunerable to put those things out there for everyone to read. As much as crafts and cooking and photos are great, it might not be the only thing of importance I need to pass on to subsequent generations.

It doesn't help when a famous blogger { C. Jane } is doing her life story in posts. I've been pondering on this before that (so don't say I'm copying :) but her posts are definately making me think MORE about it. Some of my favourites were the posts about her first  5 loves . I would love to be able to blog something like that without embarrassing myself or hurting people's feelings! Sometimes I think there is so much to learn from the difficult, hard, embarrasing, or just plain different times of our lives!

And I KNOW it must be something important because I have had no less than 5 experiences lately to do with family history, journal keeping etc.

As I sat with my Grandma last week she was telling me war stories with her time with Z special unit. She mentioned her father was an accountant (I've always seen photos of him in his army uniform so I never really knew he had other career). I knew her family was from Cairns but somehow my Nanna was born in Sydney. She told me her father had a bad kidney ailment and at the time the only hospital that could do the needed surgery was in Sydney. They moved for the operation and ended up staying (her mother had family in Sydney).

Then another occasion  talking with my mother in law about another Grandma and how she was injured on the back of a truck going to a dance. A train hit their truck and a few people were injured. Grandma was unconscious so the hospital just left her be! When she woke up (days later) instead of dying THEN they worked on her! She had to have half her head shaved and then when she was better she had to start at a new school and everyone thought she was weird! {Poor thing how embarrassing} The train was in the wrong and she received a pay out which at the time was to pay for her to go to business school! What an interesting story about some of our relatives.

This week we came across old family photos of my childhood. The girls asked 'who is that?' I stated that it was grandad's father and mother. I then said 'well actually that is grandad's stepmum'. They turned and said 'Just like you mum! Grandad is just like you. What happened to him, then happened to him so he was a step parent'. It bought tears to my eyes that they realised how special grandad is to us. That even when someone might not be a blood relative they can still indeed parent you.

These are some simple reasons that have happened to me just lately. How important to keep these stories. However my own stories will be important too. If I'm not here who will be able to say what I thought about anything!

I have a terrible memory. My sister tells me stories about our childhood and I have no idea. Perhaps because she is 6 years younger and these stories come from a child point of view looking up? Also I was married by the time my younger brother was 11. I missed growing up with my brothers and sisters as teenagers. They have memories that I just do not. I find writing my history hard.

But it must be done!

A few years ago I cleaned out a carboard box that held all my childhood journals. It was dirty and dusty and I put them in safer and cleaner place. I decided to read through these books I was keeping. To say most of it is rubbish is an understatement! Scribbles, fights with friends, boys and more boys! and mundane info! They are funny and they will be kept as a reminder of who I was BUT....

These are not the things I want to leave behind to my children! It will truly be sad that the years where I can leave an important message behind I have let time get the better of me. That the silly musing of my youth will be all that they have! I believe an adults take on what I can remember will be beneficial. Comments on how I stood strong, did the right, how my faith has shaped me, how I am able to bear trials, the wonderful childhood I had, righteous examples and friends and leaders and teachers who cared about me and shaped my life. They deserve to have a little recognition for all the hard work they have put into ME!

So now.... How do I go about it?

What are your tips for journal keeping?

Here are some of mine.

Start chronologically and write my life story
Use photos as a writing prompts
Try to write weekly in my own journal about things that are happening right now
Ask older relatives to tell me a story from their or their families personal history
Write them down!
I found going through photos with my  Nanna prompts her to talk about that time

and perhaps if I get up the guts I'll post some things here.

You know that's if I get around to writing anything.. PLEASE let me not procrastinate!

1 comment:

Montserrat said...

I think it's a great idea! And very important {that's an understatement}.

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