Record Your Memories

Monday, April 4, 2016

I recently mentioned that we held my mother’s memorial service on March 16. At the lunch afterwards, I reminisced with my brothers and cousins. Unfortunately, we are all getting older and our memories are fading. And the day will come when none of us will be around to pass on stories about our parents' and grandparents' lives and our own experiences.

That’s why I’m grateful that both of my parents wrote their memoirs.

As I mentioned in my January 4, 2016 post, Mama wrote for her family. Mama’s memoir is an easy read written so her children and grandchildren would understand what it was like growing up on a farm in the 1920s and 30s. She also wrote some shorter pieces about her life after the farm, although she left most of that to Daddy.

Daddy’s memoir is different. He wrote partly for his family, but he also had a broader audience in mind. He never tried to get his manuscript published, but that may have been his original goal.

In my opinion, Daddy wrote two memoirs and wove them together in one manuscript. One tells about the interesting things that happened to him (and us) during his adult years. I can see extracting and editing those portions into a book for a popular audience—if I ever find the time. The other one is an academic commentary on political, social, and geographical conditions in the Middle East, with some side comments on the United Presbyterian Church and its predecessors and successors. That’s the book Daddy was probably most interested in, but I find it rather dry reading. I’ll leave it to one of my brothers to edit that one—if they find the time.

Even if we don’t find the time, though, my parents’ memories have been written down and scanned, so they won’t be lost to their descendants.

That’s something we should all do.

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