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.
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!”
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!
My last post started with brainstorming ideas for ways to record family histories (link) that didn’t include lots of writing. Scrap booking seemed to hold the most promise & flexibility. I should confess at the outset that my one and only attempt involved cutting & pasting pictures of Elvis Presley! The result wasn’t pretty but I guess it reflected the effort I gave it! This time I will remember that “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” …