We have all heard, all of our lives, that time flies, especially as we get older, but I had never been so acutely aware of that until the start of the pandemic, when two weeks morphed to two plus years. And we are still in it. Yes, times look more like they used to but we are now all acutely aware of just how precarious life (as we know it) really is.
I’m at that stage of life where people my age are passing on. My age! Those sorts of things also tend to add to our understanding of just how precarious life really is. It could be any one of us, any time. Time. As much as we always think we have plenty, I need to stop frittering it away and be more mindful of what I want to accomplish and, as a good ancestor, what I want to leave behind.
I was recently in a conversation with a cousin and she noted that within 3 generations, we (and our stories) will be forgotten. And I instantly recognized the truth in this. I know my story. I know my parents’ stories and I know my grandparents’ stories. I knew them. I heard them tell me their stories. I knew their personalities, their likes and dislikes, their hopes for their family. And while I think I know the stories of my great grandparents and perhaps great-great grandparents, I don’t really know them. Not on the same level. I made this realization when my eldest aunt passed away. She was the living connection to her grandparents. She knew them. Knew their personalities, their temperament, their sounds, their smells. I can only guess from documents and perhaps some degree of supposition as I piece the puzzle together. But that’s all that most of us can do. Suppose.
I want my grandkids to know my mum and dad. To know my granny and grandpa. To know their great aunts, uncles, and their myriad of cousins. And the only way I can guarantee that my grandkids and great grandkids will really know past generations is for me to document, preserve and share those stories. Firsthand.
I find so many of us, as family historians, want the same thing. And now that my tours are coming to an end, I will have more time to focus on this. I want to help you do the same. I have created an online writing course. This course will help you to get those stories out of documents and into a shareable format – preferably a book. Something easy, sturdy and shareable. Something that can be on a coffee table or on a shelf and can quickly and easily be taken out and shared. The course will run on 5 consecutive Wednesday evenings in May for one hour. We will work together as a small group of 12 to get the stories out of documents, out of our minds, and onto paper. To write them down, to preserve them and to create a book so that they can then be shared with future generations. By the end of the 5-week course, you can have your ancestral book (one ancestral line or one ancestor’s stories) completed.
Please note that this course is structured. It is not just an opportunity to get together to talk about writing 'one day'. This is about getting the work done. We are not gathering to share the stories with one another or to look at what we have already done. We are gathering to do work.
The course is designed for a small group (12). Registration is on a first come-first serve basis.