I have been working on this project for the last several years. It is one hundred seventy Microsoft Word pages long. It is One hundred and fifteen thousand, nine hundred fifty six words long. It took referencing from my six or more journals that I kept from age 8 to present to complete. I can't even being to guess how many hours it took to write this story, but I'm sure it's in the hundreds. I'm so happy it's done!!! Completing this project is something I feel really passionate about and that I think everyone, writers or not, should do. And that is, writing our OWN story.
Once again, this is something I've wanted to complete my whole life, I just never had the motivation to get started. After all, writing your whole life story is a pretty enormous task. Sure, I could have just brushed over the years, highlighting only the important events and experiences, while losing a lot of the little details, but I wanted to do more than that. I wanted to record the memories of the first house I lived in - what it looked like, what I did on a daily basis, what it felt like to search for chicken eggs in the scratchy branches of the Juniper trees. I wanted to record what it felt like going into junior high and doing the scariest thing ever - auditioning for drama club with my memorized monologue from Anne of Green Gables, which I had practiced with my sister over and over again. I wanted to record the feelings I had leaving home and starting college, not ever dreaming in a million years I would end up in nursing school. I wanted to record my distinct impressions I had the moment I first saw my future husband, across the room at a bowling alley, wearing that fraying orange hat and looking like a hot shot. You know, that sort of thing.
Why do I feel it's important to record our history? Well, first of all, I'm naturally just kinda obsessed with capturing memories, remembering, and "passing on" experiences to the next generation. If there are lessons learned or miracles wrought or even just impressionable experiences, I feel that it's SO important to write them down, to remember them, and to include the details that will inevitably be forgotten over time. I'm not saying every detail should be written. But for the things that are WORTH remembering, you just never know how they could impact future generations.
How grateful I am that my Dad, grandparents, brother, and countless ancestors who all left their life histories behind for us remaining family members to read after they died. Many of their words have been real gems and blessings in my life.
Family history is important to me. I appreciate knowing who my ancestors are through what they've written and left behind. I hope what I've written can be of value to my posterity some day. Plus, it sure is fun for me to look back and remember, because give me about 10 years from now, and I guarantee I'll have forgotten a good percentage of those little details.
Here's just a small excerpt from my story:
"Dad pointed to the mountains in the distance, beyond the
tree line, and told me to look right where they met and formed a “V”. He
told me it was coming soon and so I patiently waited, for something magical to
happen. Pretty soon, something magical did
happen between those dark blue mountains far, far away. Just like Dad said it would,
in between where the mountains met, a bright light suddenly appeared. It was
just like a sunrise, except the light was white and the sky was black. The
light started to grow bigger and bigger, until a silvery, white, full moon
appeared and began to rise above those mountains and into the stars. It was
beautiful to watch – the brightest full moon you ever saw! I can’t explain the
feeling of watching the moon rise with my Dad in the middle of the night,
amidst miles of dark trees. I felt safe with him by my side, but there were
also butterflies fluttering in my chest. There was just something about the emptiness of the forest, the millions of clear stars
and the big sky looking down that filled me with that same mix of jitters, and
magic that I’d felt many times before.
Then, out in the night, much to my surprise, while
the full moon was seen above the mountains, Dad let out a loud and long “AHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
Just like a howling wolf. This sent shivers down my spine. He told
me to howl with him, but I was too scared. He howled again, and again, urged me to
join him. I wanted to, but it gave me shivers! Finally, I gathered my courage, took a deep breath,
and let out a long and loud “AHOOOOOOOOOO!!!” just like Dad's. It
turned out, howling was pretty fun! So, there we were, the only humans on the whole mountaintop, howling and howling at the
moon, like two warewolves in the deep woods."