Have you ever thought really deeply about how much impact your past has on the attitude and personality of your children and the way they raise theirs?
Granted, our little ones grow up, the world showers its influence on them, new acquaintances often change their way of thinking and rationalizing and ... they change. For those who are fortunate, this is a good change and can bring families closer together; however, sometimes these changes turn our adored children into people we really don't know anymore and have little in common with.
Why, we ask? Well, as parents, we were the power-figures, as we were supposed to be ... reluctant to show our failures and our weaknesses. Without realizing it, this persona we portrayed often caused our offspring to strive to be the powerful "always right" person they saw us as when they were growing up.
One doesn't need to be a polished author to write their thoughts, their failures, their disappoints, their accomplishments, their fears and all the things that made them who they actually are. As a result, our children grew up not really knowing us. Nothing wrong with that. It's just the way it was and still is.
But now it's time to let them know who we really are. Sure, I've read many memoirs that listed great accomplishments such as ... I won this trophy, that metal, a college scholarship, President of "this and that" but that is only a small part of who they really are inside. We have all passed many of our ancestral genes on to our children, and as a result, they have done the same with their children.
If we don't know much about the emotional make-up of our parents and their up-bringing, then we don't know why we make many of the decisions we do. The same goes for our children and theirs. Why are we, as adults, so reluctant to open up and tell our children about our weaknesses, along with our successes? Maybe because our parents didn't. But we can change that and we can change it now and permanently.
After I Founded, and was President of Florida Writers Assn., Inc., I traveled to assisted living and convalescent homes and spoke about this very thing. I remember vividly, during one of those speeches when an idea just flew out of my mouth, completely unplanned. I said, "My goodness, folks, if you snuck out of the house and engaged in some hanky-panky with your teenage girlfriend of boyfriend in the back seat of a '32 Ford...tell them! For heaven's sakes, don't let them go through life thinking you've never done anything a little shady." The response was unbelievably positive.
Of course, there are many things we've all done, and thought, that we don't want to share with anyone, especially our children and we have that right. But don't let your children go through their lives either wanting to be "as good" as you are or "better" than you are.
These are only a very few of the reasons that writing your past, for your children and theirs, is so very important. They need to know that we got along just fine without televisions, VCR or DVD's, computers and iPods. They need to know if you had only one pair of jeans and your mother dried them for school the next day in front of an open oven. They need to know that you were shy and because of that, you missed out on lots of activities. They need to know that you wanted so many things that you did, or didn't, get. They need to know that you worked yourself to death to be strong enough to play football. They need to know that your parents might not have always been proud of some of your decisions. They need to know as much about the emotional side of you as you will tell them.
If they know of your fears, failures and disappointments in life, they might be more likely to share theirs with you, thus bringing you closer. If you share, they might be more inclined to share with their children.
Once, during one of my workshops with senior citizens, a lady said, "I'd want them to know lots of things, but I don't want them to know now. Maybe when I'm gone." Not a problem. Write those thoughts, wishes, desires, regrets, etc., and keep a few copies safely hidden until then.
JADA Press can publish as few as one copy or as many as you need, never put them on Amazon.com or any other bookstore site or shelf. They will not be advertised, nor can a copy be bought by anyone but you or from any place other than JADA Press. I have one author who bought 25 copies and has them in her safety deposit box. One day, when she's gone, her children and their children will know who this grand lady really was.
If you're interested in not letting the past die, please contact me. I can help. You don't have to be a polished author because these memoirs need to be in your own words. We will check for typos and make corrections only with your permission. And by all means, don't forget to include old photos. Sure, they've probably already seen them, but they didn't matter as much then as they will in the future.
HUGE DISCOUNT IF YOU USE A PHOTOGRAPH
FOR THE COVER OF YOUR MEMOIR BOOK.
Let's talk about it.
Write Glenda Ivey at: