On April 20, 2008 my sweet mother-in-law passed away after a long battle with cancer. We were lucky that we knew it was coming so we could prepare. We spent a lot of quality time with her before she passed - time that we will forever treasure. When we knew her time was imminent, I made a book of her life story. It is a book that means a lot to each member of our family, and one that will be passed down for generations. This book is also valuable to me because of the memories it created while I was making it. I had the opportunity to speak with her many times during interviews as well as to answer quick questions along the way. If I had waited until after she was gone, then I would not have the extra memories she was able to add her story.
3 weeks after she passed away, my grandfather-in-law (her father) also passed away. This was not expected and was equally difficult. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to write his story before he passed and I will forever regret it. I can still write it now, but of course it will be incomplete.
Please don't wait until your loved ones are gone to preserve the stories of their lives. Start today. You will greatly value not only the finished product, but also the memories you make while creating that project - especially after they are gone.
If you would like to see a preview of the finished books on my mother-in-law, click the links below:
Jean Salmon's Life Story - At the end of her life story, I added letters that each person in her family wrote to her. I was so grateful that she could read these great tributes to her before she died - and she cried and cried while reading them.
Before I was your Grandma - I thought it was important for each of Jean's 18 grandchildren to have a book of their own, so I created a "Grandma Book". Jean wrote a letter to them which we put at the end of the book and she also signed each copy.