DEAR ABBY: Don't most of us enjoy stories from our parents' and grandparents' past? During the last few years of my mother's life, she was confined to her home and then to a nursing home.
I urged her to write her memories of childhood in a lined notebook that I provided. On one hand, those stories needed to be preserved for my children, and on the other, it gave my mother a project to work on and keep her mind active. She enjoyed it and filled about 20 pages. She described her childhood days, then continued through courtship, marriage, my birth, struggles through the Great Depression, and the building of a new home. It gave us a clear view of times gone by -- a family treasure in her handwriting.
My reason for writing this is to remind your readers to ask those old-timers to write their memories before those treasured stories pass into oblivion. -- ROBERT H., BADIN, N.C.
DEAR ROBERT: Thank you for the reminder. And readers, maybe you should jot down your own recollections yourselves. On another note, every year I hear from older people on fixed incomes who are worried because they don't have enough money to buy gifts for their families. Something like this would make a priceless gift.
P.S. It could even be video- or audio-taped if a friend or family member has the equipment.