Sunday, August 1, 2010

Writing to Remember

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection." ~ Anais Nin

I recently read this quote on someone elses blog and fell in love with it. Writing to remember is the whole reason that I bother to keep up with this blog at all. It is my scrapbook of sorts to pass on to my children when they are grown. To help them piece together the early stages of their lives. To capture their life stories as they unfold on a daily basis. I think I got part of my passion for writing to remember from my grandpa.

Many of you know that my grandfather passed away a few weeks ago. He was a man who believed in writing to remember. When I was a kid he made all of his grandchildren life journals, as he called them. For the life of me I cannot find mine, but I remember that it was bright green. He would tell us all to write down anything and everything that we could think of, because as we aged we would forget. He even offered to pay us for writing :). That's how passionate he was about writing to remember. As he himself aged and began forgetting more and more, he started carrying around a pocket sized notebook and he would jot down anything that was important to him throughout the day.... stuff on his to do list, somebody's name, a phone number, questions he needed to ask someone. And whenever he would forget, he would pull out his notebook and all of the information that he needed would be right there. We used to joke with him about that, but writing to remember was important to him.

It is never easy when someone you love passes away. At one point or another your mind always drifts to the "what if's" or "I should haves", but there is a sense that it is easier when the someone that you love is older and they have lived a full life. For me, my grandfathers passing has truly brought about a deep sense of thought and respect for a life well lived. It has caused me to think about all of life's moments, and who I want to be at "the end" of mine. What will people say about me? What will my marriage represent to others? Will I have been an example that my children chose to follow? Will they have been proud that I was their mom? Did I spend my life focusing on the things that mattered? Did my life matter? All of these thoughts just floating around. So in the midst of all of these thoughts, I have decided to write. Not just about the big, momentous things in our lives such as trips and birthdays, but about the little, mundane, everyday stuff as well. The stuff that makes up a life well lived.

I have decided that the month of August is going to be a month of writing to remember in honor of my grandpa. Everyday I will write. Maybe about childhood memories, or a note to my kids, or a memory from the day that I don't want to forget. Because if He taught me anything at all, it was that life is in fact fleeting, and I want to taste the goodness of it over, and over, and over again. Miss you Grandpa.

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