This is a guest post from Sara Case Strickland.

There are people in all our lives who inspire and change us. If we’re lucky, they become our role models.

I am blessed enough in my life to have incredible parents and have had amazing grandparents. But I was really blessed to have one truly inspirational person, my maternal grandfather.

me and pop

He was a school teacher, a lay reader in the church, an involved community member. Almost everyone in his home town referred to him as “Uncle Cyril,” a term of respect to certain older members in the community.

And he was one of the most interesting and honest people I’ve ever known.

By the time I was born and got to know him, after his retirement, he farmed a little, did a daily crossword puzzle, played lots of crib, walked everyday, asked questions about everything, involved us in all the things he did, and, most importantly, wrote in two journals daily. His diaries were not just something he did; they were a part of him, his life, his story.

After his death almost a decade ago I scrapbooked some LO’s, including this one about some of things he taught me in my life.

cape st mary's

Obviously, many things about my style have changed since then but the lessons I learned and type of person he taught me to be remain the same. And recently I realized something else – he encouraged me to be a storyteller.

cape st mary's - journaling

Every event in my life, every accomplishment – big or small – warranted a phone call or a letter, and all were documented in his journals. I personally don’t have a journal, I don’t actually have anywhere that I write things daily, but I do scrapbook and I do keep a blog.

My pictures and those funny little daily events, the silly things my children say and the day we got our kittens – all those things are noted and those stories are told, not with so many words but with photos and paper and embellishments. And without someone who showed me that documentation was important, without someone who thought that all my early creative attempts were great art, I don’t know if I would be recording those memories.

But I do know that I feel very grateful and blessed to have had a role model who taught me not only how to live my life, but also how important it is to keep all those stories preserved.

Who are your role models? How do they influence your storytelling and memory keeping? Please let us know in the comments!