Today is the first time I can remember writing the words, “My brother” I think he died when I was about two years old and he was five. I have no memories of my own about him but I do have four grainy photographs.
It has become obvious to me that searching for 4th cousins twice removed to add to my ancestry tree is not my forte! They all seem distant & I struggle to feel connected. Until I find a story that is! Then the connection is made. However, when I wrote “Filling In the Gaps” & a “Love Letter For Jimmy” my memories were my starting point. Now, when my ancestry search finds a story in the court news saving them on templates and sharing them with you is going to be quite a different journey!
When I read the family histories of other researchers there is one thing I miss more than any other. Letters! A “Love Letter For Jimmy” was written for my brother by those who cared for him in his final days. It is the only letter from the past I have. I can not change the past but I can look to the future and leave my words. A eulogy for mother is a letter I wrote about the past. It is a letter I leave behind for the future.
In Downsizing Family Heirlooms I warned that you should “be prepared to be disappointed!” I wrote about “what is”, “how to” and the history of family heirlooms. The more I wrote the more dissatisfied I became with my ramblings and explanations. It wasn’t until I began writing my conclusion that I understood what I really wanted to write was the stories behind my own family heirlooms. Now, any blogger will tell you that if you make your reader scroll too far down the page you are in danger of them missing the punch line of your article. There is no way my mother’s flying brass ducks were going to be relegated to blogger oblivion! In this post, family heirlooms are given back their stories that will go with them into the future for as long as those stories are remembered.
Last week I posted a photo on Facebook of my mother on a “Charabanc” I was surprised to see the comments & “likes” rolling in so quickly. Experiencing my Mother’s history like this had me hooked!. The research began & in the process I learned a little more about her life. The questions I should have asked her have been answered. From start to finish the journey has been a happy one. It seems I have found a formula for writing that works for ancestry blogs. It’s time to share!
I’m pretty sure I hold the record for procrastinating. Even as a senior citizen I remember starting to “write a book” when I was 12 years old. I was the heroine of the story and my name was Molly Molone! The opening scene was me pushing a barrow which was obviously a memory I “borrowed” from my mother.
Today is Australia Day 2019. I am watching the Aboriginal “Welcome to the Sun” ceremony. I am envious of what they have……an unshakable “connection to country”. In New Zealand, I would acknowledge my standing place or“turongawaiwai”. In England? Well, perhaps if I wasn’t a “Ten Pound Pom I would acknowledge my “East Ender” roots by claiming “It’s my ‘ome, innit!”
Life as a habit of “happening” while we get on with the habit of living it. For some their life has goals, missed goals, substituted opportunities and blind luck. Mine didn’t. Whilst I did have plans that I achieved and goals that I aimed for, in truth my plans changed frequently as did my goal… Continue Reading →
There are 3 reasons why writing an eulogy is hard. Firstly, its highly emotional & secondly public speaking is exposing & makes the speaker feel vulnerable. Then there is the simple fact that until we are asked to write an eulogy we have never thought about it before! At school we were taught how to write letters, book reviews, short stories & job resumes. Writing an eulogy was definitely not part of the schools curriculum!
Writing stories about our family history is not the same as writing a novel. Our characters already have their place in history. Their life events have already been written. If we don’t want our ancestors relegated to column of numbers we have to ignore that persistent voice in our head that whispers, “You’re not a writer, you have writers block, stick to the records!