If you've been here for a while, you might have heard me say that I lost my mom when I was 19 years old. There is SO much about my life I wish I knew. I'm so fortunate to have an aunt and family who have been able to fill in a lot of the details, but I so wish I knew more about my childhood. What I was like, what I did with my parents, my favorite foods/colors/friends, etc. And those reasons alone are the big "why" of "why I record our memories". Who knows what the future holds, but what I do know, is that the last five years of our lives have been recorded, documented, photographed and saved. To me, there is nothing more precious than that. One thing that I have mentioned over and over, though, is that I want to make sure that I'm "telling" our story. The story of my life. The story of my children's lives. The story of my marriage. The story of our everyday. I want those stories to be recorded as much as I want to have photographs of everything my children do. But I kind of fall short with the "stories" in my memory keeping. I don't think it's for any particular reason, just that I really enjoy creating, so sometimes the "creating" part takes over and the "story part" loses out in the battle.
And do you know what??
I'm totally okay with that.
Creating and crafting are a passion of mine. There are no rules or right. No one says that every page or memory has to have a story attached. No one says every picture has to have details written down and recorded. I create because I want to record our memories, but I also create because it's fun and freeing and I love to try new things. Period. I think it's a super big bonus that my passion coincides with memory keeping.
I keep coming back to the stories that I don't know about myself. The stories of my childhood. And I keep thinking about what I so wish I had from my mom....and I keep coming back to letters. I wish my mom had left a hidden little box of loves notes for me. Something I could sit down and read and cry and read and cry. A piece of her heart, written just for me. I wish I had letters in her own writing about me, us, our family, our everyday.
I'd like to think that I would be able to combine the two (memory keeping and stories) together, but I come up short almost every single time. Maybe it has something to do with sharing thoughts written just for my children or maybe I just can't marry the two together. Whatever the reason, I'm definitely not going to force myself to put something down when it doesn't come easily. Instead, I've decided to take a different approach this year and handwrite letters to my children (I've been inspired by so many who do just this, especially the amazing Carly!). These letters will be nothing fancy. No embellishments, no layers, no painting. Just letters...and maybe a photo or two.
My goal is to write one letter to both my son and daughter each month. Some months might be short and sweet. And some months might tell more stories. Again, there are no rules (other than the once a month deal...I gotta hold myself accountable somehow)!
To hold all of these letters, I have decided to use two photo boxes that I've had for a few years. They are roughly 9x9 inches and are about 2.5 inches deep. The boxes are super sturdy and will be able to hold quite a few years worth of letters. Right now, there really isn't anything in each box other than a few cards, photos and notepads. I don't really have a system for writing these letters yet, though. My thought is that I can just grab out the box, write a letter and slid it back inside. We shall see how it goes!! I might share a little bit about my progress here and there if anyone is interested. I think the idea of writing letters to our children is priceless and I hope you will join me and do the same. I think writing down our thoughts and feelings helps to put our lives into perspective. It makes us stop and think about all that we have in our lives. For me, it helps me shine brighter and that's really all I need.