The digital layouts at this week's Women's Memoirs site are truly simple. If you tell yourself you're not creative enough and can never do anything as beautiful as the famous scrapbook artists, don't despair. Keep at it certainly if that's your goal. Click on the links here and study some of the pages. I believe you'll see a degree of siimplicity in quite a few that you might not have seen at first view.
If it's about the story you want to tell, the chronology or nonchronology of your precious children's travels through the days that amaze you, don't worry as much about the layout. The photo(s) will probably say it all. But, then, I've also created scrapbook pages where I had no photos, just a memory I felt the need to write about.
One of the layouts on Women's Memoirs, this week shows a rather dark picture of the old bowling alley my father managed in the basement of St. George Elementary School where I attened grades 1 through 8, along with my siblings. That photo and write-up doesn't tell the whole story of that slice of my life, but it's an important one because most of our life back then revolved around St. George Church and School, and my dad's job.
I don't think I have some sort of super memory; I just believe it's the pictures that inspire me. For those of you who say, "I don't remember anything from my childhood," do you have photos? Do you look at them? Are they in albums of some sort? Do you share them with your family, especially your kids or grandchildren?
Or do you truly want to forget? I can understand that. Seriously. Because not all good things happened to me growing up. Our lives were dysfunctional in so many ways.
But we grow up and look at who we are now--what kind of person we've become. Are we loving? Generous? Have we built our lives around the good and worthy elements we so longed for when we were children?
Is there a hidden message in the pictures, eiither good or bad? You need to tell it.
I can honestly say I came to terms with my childhood through scrapbooking . Not all at once. Not quickly. It took some years. Then a gentle breeze of moments and scenes began replacing the dark times until I knew the answers I'd been seeking all of my life. Why. It had nothing to do with me. The things that happened did not define me as a person, though I'd always lived like they did.
"The truth will set you free." John 8:32
It's available to anyone who wants to remember--either to recover the good stories so they can pass them on, relive the fun memories, or to make their way down the dark corridors to the light that was always there, waiting for you to acknowledge it.
One bit of warning here. While I got through the not-always-healthy family environment on my own, and it was difficult, if you experienced trauma of the type that may harm your reliving it, you may need to seek help dealing with it. I'm the oldest of six children, and I remember events non of the others are conscious of. My sister four years younger than me died, and some of her memories as well died with her. Things change in families over time. Lives smooth out as people grow older.
By the time I was old enough to understand, however, I loved to hear family stories that the adults told whenever they gathered together. Mom had a big box of loose pictures in a drawer. We looked at them when we were kids. As I grew older, she'd tell me who the people were in the photos and some stories to go with them. My paternal grandmother did the same thing. So many stories. They began crowding each other inside my brain, trying to get out. I started writing some when I was about ten years old, but I never showed them to anybody. I'd fill a diary or notebook and thenn throw it away.
I firmly believe I was born to tell stories.
Someday, somewherre, somehow, these stories are going to go on being told. That's why I do it.
Keep the memorries alive.
Keep the memorries alive.