By heatherericksonauthor.comThe Erickson Family

Memory Maker’s Journal

The Memory Maker's Journal, Red Cover

Why Record Your Memories in the Memory Maker’s Journal?

Not long after my husband was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, I read an article in the New York Times called, The Stories that Bind Us by Bruce Feiler. He theorized that children handle great upheavals in life far better if they know the narrative of their family, those stories you hear from your parents and grandparents about the good old days (and the not-so-good old days).

This got me thinking about whether our children would know the narrative of our family.

Do Your Kids Know Your Family Narrative?

Marshall P. Duke Ph.D. developed 20-questions that you can ask your children to see how familiar they are with your family narrative. He included these questions in a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post, called The Stories That Bind Us: What Are the Twenty Questions?

Why is Sharing Your Story So Important?

It Reaffirms Your Values for You and Others.

One gentleman shared with a recent caregiver class that he had started asking his mom questions and then later wrote down the stories she told him.

I wrote The Memory Maker’s Journal to give my husband and people like him 300 questions to start conversations about his life.

Connect The Past to The Present and The Future with The Memory Maker’s Journal.

Our daughter, Summer, used to ask her dad questions on video. One of those was, “What would you say to the man who one day wants to marry me?”

The answers to these questions don’t take the hurt away. They do fill in some gaps, though. Those touchpoints from the past are available in the future whenever they wonder what their dad would say or do. And they can share them with their children.

Helping Others Through Your Story.

The reason I began writing about our journey was to help others who were facing cancer. I needed to have something good come out of this situation. This brings me to the last reason I will enumerate for sharing your stories.

To Overcome the Difficult Parts of Our History.

Each of us has a unique history of being an overcomer. Everyone has gone through something difficult. By sharing that experience, you can use your pain to encourage someone else—especially the next generation. So why not make those lemons into lemon bars?

How to Tell Your Story with The Memory Maker’s Journal

Telling your story at this time in history can take many forms. We have at our fingertips unlimited resources that could never have been imagined a few generations ago. You can video yourself telling stories, record yourself using something as simple as your telephone, or you can write your account down. I recommend a combination of these. The Memory Makers Journal, available on Amazon, is perfect for coming up with ideas of what you can write.

How to Participate in Gathering Memories

The best thing you can do is to allow others to participate in the discussion. For example, if you are trying to learn your family narrative from a parent or grandparent, see if they will let you ask some questions (like an interview). A good reporter will respond to the interviewee, drawing more details out of the story, looking for those golden nuggets.

Leave a Legacy

Record your narrative with over 300 questions

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