Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Laura Hedgecock
Publisher: Plain Sight Publishing
“Creating a legacy sounds hard, but you’re probably already doing it. With every mention of a memory – in a letter, post, tweet, or in person – we’re forming a legacy. A Treasure Chest is simply a mechanism for collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories of our pasts, our personalities, and our affection for our loved ones,” Laura Hedgecock writes in her book, Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life.
At two hundred and eighty-five pages, this paperback targets those interested in preserving the past, especially if it involves an elderly parent or close relative. After an introduction, the topic is divided into five parts, each including worksheets, exercises, and the author’s personal examples along with a list of additional tools. An eighty-four page PDF workbook is available online at no charge.
When the author’s grandmother passed on her old spiral notebook titled “Treasure Chest of Memories,” the concept of keeping track of a lifetime of memories was created. Focusing on this idea, Hedgecock offers a plethora of advice, ideas, and samples with worksheets and brainstorming in collecting and documenting time-honored information.
In the first of five sections in the book, almost fifty pages are dedicated to getting started collecting data, recording memories, outlining, and documenting. With encouragement, the writer promotes how to decide what to put in the “treasure chest” and why.
The second part is the main focus on the book as it involves tracking memories through photographs and relationships with family, children, and friends. There are brainstorms forms to complete of recalling the growing up years, childhood homes, schooling, pets, and both good and bad times, along with family lore, heirlooms, traditions, and recipes.
The next two sections are approximately twenty-five pages each, one regarding the finer points of memory collection being language, voice, humor, and ending while the other gives deeper reflections linking letters to children, regrets and premonitions, and prayers and blessings.
Final considerations are examined of when to stop tracking the memories, how much to reveal, and recommended resources. Also inserted is the author’s biography.
To say the book is a complete guide to telling and sharing stories is an understatement as the topic is more than thoroughly covered, especially because the worksheets can be additionally printed for individual use. Kudos to Hedgecock for helping people reminisce about their past by having “treasure chests” for future generations.
Thanks to Cedar Fort for furnishing this book at no charge in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.