Mothers Day Tribute

Mothers Day is a reminder for us to reflect on the wonderful woman who nurtured us and worked tirelessly to make our journey through childhood what it was. Those memories are too precious to be lost and getting them in print is a wonderful way to preserve life messages for generations.

When reflecting on memories, it is helpful to take a thought and let it flow. Here is an excerpt from my memoir. I started with the thought of Mum’s hands and let the story emerge as it would. It is surprising where the journey takes you.  Equally, you could use a photo, an artefact or some other item. A friend of mine used a scrabble board as that was important in her family life and through that, she traced many wonderful family memories.

If you would like help with Mothers Day, I am happy to work with you on your memoir. Give me a call Rose 0407 487 495.

 My tribute to Mothers Day and my mum raising a family in the 1950’s.

Personal letter
A Personal Letter of Life Celebration is priceless

Excerpt. 2016. Rose Osborne Memoirs. Growing up in Central West, NSW. Unpublished.

My Mother’s Hands

My mother’s hands are soft and artistically designed by events and challenges of her long life. Her hands are a road map of all that came before. No expensive soft and creamy hand lotion ever touched those hands and yet they remain tender and gentle on her lap in her nursing home. No doubt the endless emersion in water hydrated the tissues and allowed any roughness to dissipate and fade away – washing the kids, washing the dog, washing the car, washing the floor, washing the dishes, washing the clothes – did it ever stop for my mother in the prime of her life as a mother of seven children in a NSW country town during the 50’s and 60’s.

Every day of the week was allocated a category of washing – Monday was sheets day, Tuesday was towels, Wednesday was kids’ clothes and so on. It was never-ending. The sheets day was the most gruesome. My mother would be enslaved over a copper boiler which viciously boiled those white sheets until they relieved themselves of every spot of dirt and grime – and no doubt they needed quite a bit of boiling to rid themselves of the marks and stains of all us kids.

The boiled sheets were lifted out of the steaming water with a thick wooden stick that was shaped like a baseball stick. The stick directed the cooked sheets to pass through a double wringer, two rollers with spring tension that attempted to squeeze water from the pathetic desperate material. Mum was expert at folding the sheets flat, so the contemptible wringer would accept them into its rotating and suffocating jaws. One slip and I knew, even as a child, Mum’s fingers would have been history. If Mum was distracted just for a second, and those sheets were not folded flat, the aggravated wringer would jump and shake, dancing violently, afraid of no-one, not even the stick. I was terrified for Mum and often thought how she could face this dangerous job.

Mother
Mother’s Washing Machine had a time of its own

I was four years old, but the memory of this sheet washing ritual is deeply ingrained into my fearful events mind map. It may also have been because of Mum’s reaction to an innocent comment I made about the horrors of the whole washing ritual.

‘How can you do this?’ came out of my innocent mouth.  Mum burst into tears, threw the stick against the copper washer and yelled at me ‘Well, you do it’. Her whole body shook and trembled, and the tears were like heavy falling rain from a summer storm. Mum was red-faced, and the sweat was pouring from every pore of her body.

I vowed there and then at the age of four years of age, that I would never do this dreadful ritual. I was not to know that technology would improve to the extent that I did not have to do it, but the fear I was experiencing at that moment, was horrendous and paralysing. When the terror let go of my little legs, I ran and hid under the bed for what seemed an interminable amount of time.

 

Ring me for a Mother’s Day voucher to complete your Mother’s tribute and story. Let’s make a difference to your generations.

Mother. Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day Tribute.

A War Story is now part of a Family’s History

Joe Ann Tailor cried uncontrollably and emotionally as she heard her father’s voice for the first time in 19 years since he sadly passed away. Her father, Joe George Taylor, was telling a story he had never told anyone; but realised it was now TIME.

Joe George’s oral history recording was made with the University of North Texas and is the only record of the full story of that day. His daughter said it was a gift from God, a blessing and so wonderful.

The war story

Unknown sailor
USS Arizona attack on Pearl Harbour. 1956

Seventy-six years ago on the 7th December 1941, Pearl Harbour was attacked by Japanese fighters.  The forward ammunition magazine on the USS Arizona exploded and over one thousand marines and sailors died.

Donald Stratton and Lauren Bruner were two that survived that day. Their story goes that they were aboard the USS Arizona when the explosion happened; they clamoured onto the ‘hot steel deck’ to join other men who were so badly burned and dying. They looked for a way to save their lives against all odds.

The USS Vestal was tied up alongside Arizona. A sailor onboard the Vestal saw the situation and started attempting to throw the stranded and desperate sailors a salvation line. After a few goes, the line was secured, and Stratton and Brunner struggled 70 feet with a hand-over-hand action to get off the burning boat to safety. They never knew the name of the sailor who saved their lives and their story was recorded in history books as having their lives saved by an unknown sailor.

The unknown sailor’s war story

Joe George Taylor was a wild boy who frequently got himself in trouble. He was an amateur heavyweight boxer who celebrated his winnings with a drinking session and so would get himself into another ‘unofficial’ fight.

MP’s escorted him back to the Vestel that night and that’s where he was on that fateful morning.

‘I’m that unknown sailor that whoever wrote the book didn’t find’ he recorded in his oral history session.

‘They were surrounded by fire on Arizona. They were stranded over on the ship and they were trying to get off’ he further stated.

The Family’s story

‘For me, personally, and my family. That’s the most wonderful thing…that now, he’s not the unknown sailor; he’s known as the man who did what he did’.  History now recognizes that Joseph L. George received the Bronze Star for his actions on December 7, 1941.

The original story was written by David Martin as the Cover Story for CBS Sunday Morning. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/an-unknown-sailor-no-more-pearl-harbor-attack/

 

 

War Stories are part of Family History

War Stories are like deep underground rivers of a network of experiences

War experiences are such personal and sensitive stories. Whether they are from recent wars and conflicts such as Afghanistan or Vietnam wars or earlier world wars, the impact on those involved and their families is dramatic and life-changing. Telling your story in whatever way you wish can be a powerful tool to work through emotions and mental health. It is so important to family history that the contribution made by veterans is documented and acknowledged. The life messages that will be generated could make such a difference to younger family members and those of the future. 

A few years ago, an elderly lady contacted me about writing her life story. When we were half-way through, she commenced crying.

Womens Land Army
Source: Australian War Memorial. ARTVO1062

Women’s Land Army

We had reached that part of her life when she enlisted in the Women’s Land Army as her personal contribution to the war effort. Her story spilt out of her through her tears and laughter as she recalled the harshness of the working conditions, the friends she made (and the difficult personalities), the jobs she had to perform and the social activities that the women invented to amuse themselves.

‘This is a wonderful story’ I told her. ‘I expect your family knows all this?’

‘No’ she replied. ‘They were never interested. This is the first time I have told anyone.’

Now it was my turn to cry. This wonderful woman, who was 81 years old at the time, embarked on this journey to meet the shortage of rural labour in Australia. She was a city girl and embraced farm jobs that would challenge any strong male. She adjusted to the heat and cold, dust and insects, long hours working outside and minimum wage and leave opportunities.

Young Vietnam Soldiers

The project led me to wonder how many others involved in the war effort, talk about their journey. As a young trainee nurse, I worked in Concord Repatriation Hospital in Sydney, during the Vietnam War. We heard many stories as we did back care on the young soldiers when they were bed-bound, or when we were dressing their wounds or just sitting with them in the darkness of the ward after lights out. The psychological support we provided was just as vital to their rehabilitation as the medical and nursing duties that we provided. The stories bubbled out of them like a deep underground river of experiences which had gathered from a network of sources. We were allowing the young soldiers to tell their story however they wished, and we provided no judgment or criticism. We were under 20 years of age ourselves and today, I marvel at the maturity my peers and I displayed. 

Australian Soldier
August 1968.
Australian Soldier. Double amputee.
Concord Hospital
AWM LES/68/0312/BC

I remember one young soldier thanking me for listening. He could not tell his family of his experiences because of guilt and shame that he felt, but also because he wasn’t sure how to control his feelings of anger and confusion in front of his family. He thought they didn’t want to know but were happy just to have him back and safe.

War Journals

War stories are important. I was contacted last year by an elderly gentleman who had his aunt’s war journals dating back to the 1st World War and wondered what he could do with them. I read some of those articulate entries and realized how powerful and important the stories were and what a roadmap of the aunt’s involvement in the war effort and illustrations of her character and personality.

Don’t lose their stories

These stories are so important to families and send such an important message to young people of today. The courage and commitment of those involved in providing services to their country in whatever format must not be lost.

If you have a family member who would like to tell their story and have it documented in a book, please contact me. The journey will be a wonderful recognition and they will thank you as it may be something they have secretly wanted all these years.

Ring me today and let’s get to work.

 ‘God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle line, Beneath whose awful hand we hold dominion over palm and pine—Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget—lest we forget!’

Recessional. 1897. Rudyard Kipling.

Another war story that needs to be told

References

Australian War Memorial.  Australian Women’s Land Army.  Accessed online Australian Women’s Land Army

Images

Australian War Memorial.  Sydney NSW August 1968. Liet. Gordon Lyall Simpson (24). and Nursing Sister Kay Worsley. Concord Repatriation Hospital. Accessed online  AWM LES/68/0312/EC

Australian War Memorial.  Australian Women’s Land Army  Accessed Online.  ARTVO1062

Declare your love with a unique Valentine’s Day gift

Valentine’s Day needs a revamp.

Aren’t you tired of giving those flowers and chocolates which are forgotten before the week is up?

Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day

Declare your love with a gift that will remain forever a beautiful memory that is timeless.

A record of your relationship documented in a beautiful hardcover book with your photos preserved for generations is the perfect gift for those serious about relationships.

Make Valentine’s Day the occasion for an original and creative gift that will express the fullness of your love. If you are serious about your intentions, a love book is the only way to go.

How did it all start?

It started long before commercial enterprises realized that Valentine’s Day is the day to make the biggest profit of the year. It was well before the 14th Century and martyrs and lovers went to their demise for Saint Valentine of Rome. In some countries, it was the Christian Liturgical feast days that empowered young lovers to face imprisonment for marrying their forbidden lovers, but once Geoffrey Chaucer picked up on the tradition of romantic love, the idea flourished. By the 18th Century, the English had added flowers and chocolates to society’s pressures of impress the hearts of young loves and from that, commercial businesses took the concept to its present dazzling heights.

Love is for all

Life Stories are about love and relationships and the celebrating of life journeys. This places them well within the interpretation of Valentine’s Day being about love between people of all ages. In fact, it may be groups of people that want to celebrate their relationships such as families, friends or any group – love is for all. Whether your love is secret or not, you need to find a way to express it once and for all.

I was reminded of the heaviness of secret love one morning when I received an international phone call.

Life Stories of Secret Love and Valentine’s Day gift

Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day and a Book on your love story

A young man wanted the story of his relationship with his secret lover documented in words that he could not find in time for Valentine’s Day. He said to me he wanted to open his heart to a writer who could express his story to his lover in such a way that she would understand and embrace their secret love.

The journey that I entered with my new client was conducted over SKYPE. It lost none of its potency through this media and at times, I think it enhanced it as my client was able to imagine that he was alone in the room and emptying his heart.

I listened and recorded the story as it had germinated between himself and the young girl when they were 14 years old. The beginnings were innocent, humble and intermittent at first, and only slowly built as innocent connections formed building blocks of a web of friendship and then deep love.

As life goes, the sweet fragrance of young love ran its course and dissipated with events and happenings on their life journey. The young love was no more than a fragile memory of delicacy and regret for what might have been.

It was many years ago, that the couple met again, their gazes catching at a public gathering. To their amazement, the sparks of young love were rekindled, and the secret love of adolescence became the secret love of an intense and mature relationship.

The Journey of a Life Writer

My journey throughout this project was a challenge for me. The task given to me to bring to life on paper the journey of my two lovers amidst cultural barriers and unrest required me to do my own research and explore traditions and rituals that I knew nothing about. I needed to understand to give context that would enhance my client’s love story.

This is the value of a Life Story Professional. The skills and abilities brought to the table to produce a body of work that is of high caliber and worthy of be considered an excellent and timeless document are numerous. Listening and making the client feel comfortable and worthy are essential and after that, the craft unfolds itself.

Contact today

If you would like your love relationship documented, give me a ring today. A Gift Certificate would be a wonderful Valentine Day gift and even better if you both contributed.

 Life Stories

Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s Day – Valentine’s Day
Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day is a Life Story Opportunity

Member of Life Stories Australia Inc. the Industry Association for Life Writers