Everyone has a story to tell, but particularly those who have lived a long life with struggles and hardship make for the most interesting stories. I recently started my new Memoir Writing service which I call, “Lifelong Stories.” By having someone to tell their stories to, older family members get to relive many wonderful and sacred memories of people they’ve loved and experiences they’ve shared. Additionally, they have a place to document the important details of their early lives, to keep alive the names of family member who have passed on and to share circumstances about family origins that no one else knows.
I started writing memoirs about eight years ago with the intent of preserving my own family’s history. In the process of interviewing multiple relatives, who were distant cousins of my parents, I enlarged my own awareness of my expansive family’s history in Europe pre-WWI. The process was painstaking and there were many people who wanted to contribute to the overall stories I wrote, so the process took months longer than I had expected it would. But the end result was that I met some wonderful people who I had never previously known who are a part of my bloodline. Several live on the East Coast where my family is from. And today, I’m connected with them on social media, via Skype, LinkedIn and Facebook. These are people who I had never met before and would not have known had I not taken this important journey back into my family’s past.
Apart from writing my family’s history, I’ve had the pleasure of tagging along on others’ journeys as I document their important memories. One of the memoirs I’m writing today is that of a woman who raised her family of four in California in the oil fields – a long way from the 40-acre farm in Indiana where she was born and raised. Still another is the story of the daughter of a bootlegger who went on to become a runway model to support herself and then married the man of her dreams just before the war broke out.
What I love most about the process of taking notes and interviewing my Lifelong Story clients is listening to them telling their stories. Each story involves conflict but always resolution – how they made it through hard times and the many challenges that life threw at them. Each story celebrates the lives and interactions of many different people who crossed their paths and influenced them, both positively and negatively. We all can learn from these stories that our elders have to share.
As I continue in my practice of creating colorful memoirs for the people who request them, I’m sharing in their lives, but I’m also giving them something that they can hold onto – a physical story about them and their lives that can be read and re-read by their children, grandchildren, and many generations to come. These stories say that their lives have mattered – that someone will benefit from their experiences. And sometimes, that’s the greatest gift a person can hope to leave behind.
For more information, please contact Writer For Hire® Pat Kramer at: 818 353-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.