My grandma told me that she didn’t have a story worth telling. My jaw dropped. I thought her story was fabulous, and I wanted to hear as much as I could.
So one day I started asking her little questions about her life. What was college like for women in the 1930s? Where did my grandpa first kiss her? As if a piece of her heart opened to the world, my grandma started talking. She started telling story after story. They flowed from her heart.
I think she was shocked to discover these pieces that were still in her. She was surprised by the joy of just celebrating those moments.
Our stories are always in us. Sometimes we bury them deep in our hearts. Sometimes we open our hearts and write our stories down or share them with people. I think we need less hiding and more revealing.
Without story, the ordinary moments lose their importance. Our routines, our passions, and our joys all need to be celebrated. I think that’s why scrapbooking and journal writing are so important. That’s why we all gather here at Simple Scrapper.
You have a story, and it matters.
Of course, figuring out how to tell that story is an entirely different thing!
If I handed you a blank page and said, “Now write your life story,” do you think you could do it? It’s a pretty overwhelming task. It’s also why blank journals can often become records of all our sadness and frustration.
Listening to my grandma’s stories stories, I started wondering about all of the other women who have stories deep inside of them. I knew. It was time for me to stop merely listening to people’s stories. It was time to help people start writing – before it was too late.
I created an online journal and writing prompt shop, Gadanke.
It’s always so fun to connect here with Jennifer at Simple Scrapper. She knows the power of celebrating our stories, doesn’t she?!
When you have a passion or a dream, write about it. Write about plans. Write lists of loves. And above all, write about you. Scrapbook about you.
You have a story that is so very worth sharing.
I’m Katie; my goal is to help you think about your world, laugh, and most of all – celebrate your stories. Your story matters. I want to help you create the type of personal books that’ll be treasured.
What a wonderful post and a great reminder! I love the examples shared here… Our own stories often seem trivial to ourselves but I guess they are all important in some way or another, in the long run.
Such a great reminder to share stories before they are gone. I love the photos of the beautiful mini albums. I started looking at one of my grandmother’s notebooks from the 1930’s the other day and wish that I had asked her more questions before altzeimers took her mind from her.
I loved this article and how you started it by talking about your grandmother’s not realizing she had a story to tell. I agree that we all have stories to tell. Telling ourselves we do and then recording that story are often two different things. I love your beautiful journals — so unique. Who wouldn’t want to keep one of those? I am greatful that my mother, who died right before her 92nd birthday in 2004, bought her first computer when she was in her early 70s and started recording family stories as well as genealogy. I am 68 and have lots of catching up to do, but I do hope to get much better at telling my story and those of my family members. Thanks so much for this nice, insightful article.
Thanks for the reminder that we all have stories to tell. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily trials and forget the big picture. I love your little album too. I want to make one of those too.
I wish that I knew more about my Grandmas and my Mother’s childhood. With that in mind, I have scrapbooked several stories about me and I often tell little things to my grandchildren about my experiences as a child. I want them to know me.
So many stories of peoples lives must have gone forever. It’s really important that we save these stories, they are part of who we are and where we come from. Don’t let them fade away..save them for future generations and to help us realise that everyone is special!
Thanks for the reminder to take some time out of our busy lives to sit down with those we love, especially those who are older, to document history. I have also started writing down little interviews with my kids since I think they’ll get a kick out of their favorite foods, books and tv shows when they grow up too!
In the past, I periodically tried various ways to get older family members, especially my mother and mother-in-law, to share their stories. I felt it would be a great way for my children to really know these relatives in a more personal way. Recently, it dawned on me that it was just as important that I record my own stories…not just to scrap my children’s stories. Your article is a great reminder that we all have stories that will be cherished by those who come after us.
Thanks for the awesome link to Gadanke and for the reminder to ask our relatives to share their stories. Time goes so fast and we forget they won’t be with us forever. I tend to focus on the kid and forget about my older relatives. I enjoyed your post.
I always wanted to ask my husband’s grandparents about their stories, but I never took the time. All four of them passed away in the last year and a half, so I missed the opportunity. My grandmother is still alive, so I feel like I need to make a point of getting her story down before it is too late. Thank you for the reminder!
I wish I knew more about my dad’s parents. They are a mystery to me. But I’m so thankful one of my hubby’s uncles is recording his grandparents telling their story. It’s amazing. I’m doubly grateful he’s getting it on video. Now…I should make a point to go talk to his *other* grandma. Thank you for the inspiration.
I sooooo wish I had my grandmother here to ask her those questions. She was the dearest woman in the world. I miss her more than I can say. So, I am trying to collect bits and pieces of her life from my cousins, aunts, uncles, mom, dad, siblings (basically all the family I can) to get info, pictures, stories, pieces of memorabilia about her and her life. It would have been wonderful to have gotten it from her but it’s too late for that.
My great grandmother was an entrepreneur in Omaha back in the early part of the 1900s. I did my very first scrapbook about her. She went from running a boarding house to owning and running Rocho’s Box Lunch, which had a fleet of trucks and delivered lunches to 1000s of iron workers during the construciton boom at that time. I wish I had more informatin about my other ancestors.
Great timing on this post. We are leaving on a road trip that will include visits to my 87 year old mother-in-law and my 83 year old mom. I will definitely sit down with both of them and start writing some stories. I know they will be honored that I’m asking. Thank you so much
I was thinking about this yesterday. I was wearing my great-grandmother’s pearl ring and wishing I knew when it was made for her. My grandma always said she wanted to write her story but she had to have it perfect. I don’t think she ever wrote or it is gone somewhere, but I do have a history of my great-grandfather from before he came from Hungary to America that she wrote. I would have never known about it otherwise. My dad wrote about several chapters of life before he developed brain cancer. My brother found the files after Dad died but that’s ok, I learned a bit about relatives I never knew I had. Luckily that same brother is a film maker and many years ago he talked to my dad’s father on tape and captured some of his stories of how he came to NY from Paris. So many good stories all around us!
Thanks for this post. It reminds me that I took some video of my elderly mother a few years ago. I want to get those stories on paper for her posterity to enjoy. I SO agree that EVERYONE has a story to tell! What may seem mundane to us holds so much meaning to others. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I love the idea of a mini album too. Awesome!
I love that journal! And you are so right. One day I sat my dad and one of his brothers down and so enjoyed their tales of childhood. I MUST scrap them… thanks for the reminder.
My grandmother and my mother are gone. I would so love to hear their stories, but the time has passed for that. As a 3-time cancer survivor, I know that tomorrow is not guaranteed to me; today is the time to record those stories. I plan to make sure my children and grandchildren get to hear my story, and what I know from my mother and grandmother’s lives.
My grandma in-law is already 80+ and what impresses me most about her is her memory! I like sitting by her side and listening to her stories especially when it involves my husband as a very young, brilliant young boy.
I love your little album, too. It’s so fun. I have a difficult time writing about myself.I just can’t think of anything interesting that I’ve done. My kids are 22 and 19 and don’t do cute things anymore. I need to find more journal prompts for someone who doesn’t quite enjoy life the way she should. Thank you for your article.
I learned to scrapbook from my grandmother, so we’ve spent a lot of time sharing stories. I’m also blessed enough to still have a living great-grandmother. Hearing her stories about growing up in the south in the 1930s is amazing to me! I’ve never thought about telling my own story though…
Haven’t told your story yet? Scared to tell your real feelings at first?
I have a quote from the Victoria StoryTeller’s Guild June Meetup–i.e. you can start storytelling by telling someone else’s story — for the very story you pick,
reveals things about you — Decide what resonates with you about someone else’s story– think about how it relates to you – your past, your goals, your insecurities, and you will have a starting point !
This really strikes a chord with me. My parents spent many hours interviewing my Dad’s parents and recording the stories of their early lives. Recently at my grandfather’s funeral we were amused and touched by the events of his life as recorded by my Dad. What we couldn’t have foreseen is that my other was diagnosed with a brain tumor in between these two events and was rendered speechless within a couple of weeks and died within 6 weeks of her initial diagnosis. I have so many unanswered questions about the woman my mother was prior to us. I would love to know what drove her to study the courses she did at university and move her family half way across the world and unfortunately I will never know for certain. Everyone has a story that is of interest and importance to someone and this is what drives me as a scrapbooker to keep memories of our lives for my daughter to reflect on later.