Mother’s Day Tribute

Mother’s Day is a reminder 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.

You might find a few hints here to help you with your memory reflection.

  • When reflecting on memories, it is helpful to take a thought and let it flow. In this following excerpt from my personal memoir, the thoughts were triggered holding my mother’s hands in her nursing home. Equally, you could use a photo, an artefact or some other item. 
  • Take the time to sit in the moment. This process may take hours or it could take days or even weeks. It took many weeks for me to sit fully in the moment of the thoughts regarding my mother’s hands.
  • I was able to find historical context and used that to support the story. The historical context also provides insight into the life of a young mother in the 1950’s and young people of future generations may take life messages from the story.

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

My tribute to Mother’s Day

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 Unpublished.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.

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.

This practice of hiding under or in my bed when I am distressed remained a lifelong habit.

 

Mother's Day
Mother’s Day thanks

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

M: 0407 487 495

E: info@thewritingshed.com.au

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

 

Enjoy this article on the same subject. Washday Mondays

How to start my life story

How do I start my life story?

My life has been so long.

This is the question I get asked every time a potential client contacts me.

It’s true your life has been long and so much has happened. Approaching the documenting of your life is worthy of consideration before you commence and the skills of a life writer are there to help you on your journey.

life story
Just start your life story – just start

How to start my life story – a few pointers

 

  • Make the commitment.

Many obstacles will fall into your path as to why you shouldn’t start your journey of commencing your family legacy. There are too many to name but here are just a few; ‘too expensive’; ‘too much work’; ‘don’t want to remember it all’; ‘what will the family think’; ‘will I seem like a loser’.

Well, some of those things are true and some aren’t. You won’t seem like a loser – in fact, people will admire you and wish they had done the same. Yes, it is work and yes, it is expensive but so is anything worth having.

You don’t have to remember it all, and you don’t have to document it all. Your life writer will help you through this. Yes, there will be some memories you wish you didn’t have, and yes, you may shed a tear or two – but life writers are skilled at supporting you through that.

Making the commitment to do your legacy for your future generations has to be first and foremost.

  • Contact your life writer and be honest about your budget and your story.

    start my life story
    Be honest with your life writer

Deciding on how much you wish to spend is just another financial decision like others you have made through your life. Some customers say they wish to just get their life story in print and don ‘t care about the cost. Other customers prefer the package deal used by Write My Journey and you buy a unit – you know where you are at each point in the project.

 I think being honest about your story is also important. Some people say they want the minimum budget and then expect to get everything in. I don’t think this is fair to them and certainly not fair to the life story writer.

Being honest about your expectations up front is most important. Compiling your life story is no different to any other service you may have done – both you and your contractor have to know what is expected to obtain a great result.

  •  Do an overview

 Your life writer will do an overview of your life journey and help you put it into chapters. Together, you will work on each chapter until it is complete. This is a very flexible working system and even if you jump from one chapter to another, your final product will be organised and complete.

Keeping to your chapters helps you keep to your budget and control over your story, at the same time as allowing you to adjust your budget and content.Some customers prefer to make notes as they think of different times of their life. Others prefer just to talk and let their memory take them down its path, opening whatever gates come their way. Photos are great and any other memorabilia you may have. Discussions with other people are great memory boosters, as are journals, old calendars or even just googling dates to see what was happening in the world at that time.

  •   Life Stories are boring

A common comment I hear from people is that life stories or biographies are boring to read. I agree with this and therefore, I place the responsibility with the life writer to guide the narrator in the creation of a book that readers can’t put down.

Most people think they must include every single bit of information they remember. That is not true. You can, of course, include everything, but that will be reflected in a bigger budget. Most people will take snippets of their life to reflect their journey, e.g. if you are a cricket player, you could just highlight your most memorable games, rather than every game.

  • Final TipStart my lif

A final tip is not rush it. Knowing that documenting your life story is going to take time and work in the narration, reviewing and reviewing is a fact, so it is wise to keep your deadline in the distant months or even a year.

Writing Life Stories 

Life Stories Australia Inc. 

How to start my life story
Life Story Professionals are life story writers

Write My Journey is a foundation member of Life Stories Australia, the Industry Association for life story professionals.

Start My life Story    Start my life story   Start my life story   Start my life story

 

 

 

Writing memoir

Writing Memoir doesn’t mean ‘tell all’

Writing memoir about living people does come with some rules and even warning signs.

We live in a litigious society and whilst people may tolerate family jokes about their quirks and rare moments of inappropriate behaviours, they may not like these instances immortalised in a family story album. Words on a page are unforgiving and a reader may set in their mind-stone facts that are incidental and not true to the person’s nature or life story.

Quirky behaviour
Quirky Behaviour makes you unique

Everyone has moments of indiscretion or behaviours outside of their true nature or perhaps their quirky nature is what makes them unique.  A former friend of mine filled his waking hours telling stories of other people’s odd behaviours and life moments, thus ensuring that person earned a reputation for being inappropriate or an odd-ball. This former friend eventually earned himself a poor reputation. Similarly, writing memoir from a disposition of negativity, anger or criticism can lead to your work being dismissed which is not what you intend. It can also leave you vulnerable to legal action.

Telling your Truth

Writing memoir is about telling your truth as you perceive it; however, a wise and responsible writer will firstly explore their perspective with insight and humanity. Writing memoir is often tempered by the unleashing of emotion whether it be anger, joy, grief or happiness. Making a distinction between the expression of words reflecting a focused writer connecting readers to the rich tapestry of their life and family history and the undisciplined drainage of harsh and critical negative views is the hallmark of a quality life story writer and memoirist.Continue Reading

Dementia and Life Story. A rewarding project

Dementia and Life Story can be a union that produces a wonderful family legacy. Whilst there is a lesson to be learned from obtaining the life stories of our loved ones before the onset of age and symptoms that may be associated with a decline in memory, understanding the phenomenon can help elicit communication that will be a wonderful life story.

Life Story and Dementia
A Life Story and Dementia can be a powerful union

A Salad of Information

Communication is more than the spoken word. Successful understanding and communication happens when we not only listen, but stay in the moment with the loved one and be ready to be where they are in their story telling. This salad of information can be documented as it emerged or reorganised to create a flowing narrative. Some may consider that this salad of ideas and concepts a wonderful representation of their loved one and seize as many opportunities as possible to capture experiences still stored in their mind. There is no right or wrong in either of these outcomes.Continue Reading