Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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Day Honor Roll
May 28, 2012
Today is Memorial Day, a holiday set aside to honor those who've made
the greatest sacifice, giving their lives in the service of our
country. Being in war is something I would never wish on anyone. But
when there is armed conflict we need someone to step up and defend and
fight for liberty.
The dilemma of war is that we should find a way on our planet to solve
conflict with peaceful means. Until that becomes a reality we must
remember that those who serve in the military are faced with an awesome
duty. Memorial Day should remember not just military personnel, but
also all others who die in war. Many innocent civilians sadly become
victims of war.
ABC News reported today about the Roll
of Honor - a memorial hosted by TogetherWeServed.
Founder Brian Scott created it in 2003, a social network before
Facebook and other social media sites became so popular. It was
originally restricted to military and family, but now they
gone public. The site honors those who've given their lives in service
to their country. These are powerful and moving tributes for this
I recommend you visit the story posted by ABC News, Roll of Honor: A Modern Memorial
to Those Who Gave Their All for This Country (here).
Afterwards, take some time at the Roll of Honor memorial site (here)
and see the information
posted. That is a fine way to pay tribute to those who've served.
Remember, too, our veterans who didn't die. Some were wounded; others
carry the burden of those times. Today I am naturally thinking about my
father. He was an Air Force career pilot and combat veteran who died in
January of this year. My tribute to him has been previously posted on
this site, The Pilot Who Soared on Eagles
Under the Hood
May 27, 2012
swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car.
Bruce Springsteen from "Growin' Up"
sister found this picture of me when I was in Kansas City for my
father's funeral in January. It is dated February of 1958. That would
put my age at two years and a couple of months. I am holding my beloved
"Ted Bear" that I dragged everywhere. As you can see, I am standing
under the hood of our family car, one of those big old Buicks, a big,
The metaphor of standing under the hood and what is "under the hood"
(inside our heads?) got me thinking. We all have things that "drive"
us. Our personal "horse power" helps us accomplish goals and pursue
dreams. As I gaze down the tunnel of time I can't help but wonder about
this young Tom. Surely I am full of wonder, like any two year old.
What do you want out of life? How have the years and experiences shaped
you? Have you started writing any of it down? Get "under the hood" of
your life experiences. A good personal historian can be like a trusted
Preserving Wedding Memories
May 25, 2012
is just a few days away. Traditionally this is a big month for
weddings. More people get married in June than any other month.
A wedding is a momentous event that should never be forgotten. Anyone
who has ever been part of the planning of a wedding realizes
much is involved. When the special day comes you hope that every detail
has been carefully thought through and arrangements - from flowers to
guests to vows - are well prepared.
How do you preserve all those special memories that go into this
amazing event? Brides and grooms will forever have it etched onto their
hearts, but having a tangible record of your memories is really
important. Most people take lots of pictures, even video, and share
this with friends and families. Wouldn't it also be great to have your
wedding day preserved in a special legacy package?
preserving company with whom I am affiliated, has just added a new
Legacy Wedding line of video and book keepsakes. The company is
showcasing this new line at one of the premiere bridal tradeshows, The Wedding Salon event in Chicago June 4th. There is also a
Twitter contest (#WeddingWow)
that you can enter for a chance to win a free Legacy Keepers Video
Legacy specially designed for married couples. Details here.
To find out more about Legacy Keepers various life story package
options you can contact me
or visit this link. Be sure to sign
up for your free interview guide.
Solar Ring of Fire
May 20, 2012
I, along with several family members (spanning about 4 generations),
just witnessed something historic. The sun was almost completely
blocked out by the moon, the annular eclipse that occurred late this
afternoon. Albuquerque was perfectly in the path for this celestial
eclipses happen when the moon comes between the earth and the sun but
is at its furthest distance from the earth. As a result it doesn't
completely block the sun like a total solar eclipse. You get an awesome
"ring of fire" when the eclipse is at its peak, which happened at 7:36
p.m. our time.
My brother-in-law made a nice pinhole telescope out of a long FedEx
cardboard box so we could see the shadow of the moon crossing in front
of the sun. But even better, he had purchased some eclipse safe glasses
and looking through them was quite the site. Of course you never want
to stare at the sun, eclipse or not, without proper protection.
Events like this are great for family members to see and share in the
memories we made today. Something to write about (I think I just did!).
My Son Is Walking the (Graduation) Line
May 14, 2012
Today is sure to go down as a historic one in the Gilbert household as
my son will be walking across the stage (hence, "walking the line") to
get his High School diploma! My wife, daughter, son-in-law,
grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephew and friends will all be
beaming and cheering for Eric.
I think High School graduations are special on so many levels. It is
the completion of many years of education. All the studying, homework
and tests. But also all the experiences of growing up, developing
friendships, meeting challenges and dealing with the complexities of
life - especially those we go through as teenagers.
Eric will go on to college and a career. We wish him the best and a
part of him always is carried in my heart, just as I am sure he carries
all of us in his. It's hard to believe that the little boy I wrote
about in The Walk
is now a young man. Way to go, Eric! I am proud of you son.
Remembering Your Mom Through Her Memories of Your Dad
May 12, 2012
Tomorrow is Mother's Day.
are so many people in our lives who can be special and important, but
our moms - well, it is hard to describe, but for a lot of people it is
the most nurturing relationship we can have.
I came across a nice video tribute of a mother that had a different
twist. Bob Breakstone, an APH member and videographer, shared an
interview and photo montage honoring him mom with details about how she
met her husband (his father). His post on the Association of Personal Historians Blog,
Remembering Mom for Mother's Day-and Every Day tells of their romance
at a young age and their 42 years of marriage, all in the space of a
few minutes. It's powerful and I urge you to watch it.
I'm remembering my mom, gone since June of 2006, but forever in my
heart. I am loving and honoring her along with the other
"mothers" in my family - my wife, my daughter and my mother-in-law.
Happy Mother's Day you moms!
The Heartbeat of Your Story
May 9, 2012
I've written previously about getting to the heart of your story.
It's important to know why you are telling your story. What's your
motivation? Are you passing on information for your family? Do you have
special values or an inspiring message to share? Is there a particular
purpose for getting your story into writing?
Those who've followed my writing and comments on life story and
personal history know I ask lots of questions. You need to think about
the reason for your story. The burning desire - your purpose for
sharing your story - is the driving force that will keep you motivated
and pursuing it, whether you do it yourself or have a professional help
Figure out what the heartbeat of
your story is. A great way to help you get started is to gather free
information from personal history providers. Legacy Keepers has a
legacy guide you can download. That would be a great first step - plus
you may find the right life story option for you.
| find out more |
Asking the Right Questions in a Personal History
May 4, 2012
history is indeed a process. As the information is uncovered
up your story you will be constantly reflecting on it. Who am I? Where
from? What matters most? These are just a few of the probing and
questions every life story, memoir or personal journey must ask. The
behind these questions are wonderful gems to be mined and to reveal to
others) the story of you.
teachers will tell you that preparation is essential for good
The same is true for your memoir or life story project. Before you sit
an interview you need to mentally prepare. It is not essential that you
know all the questions in advance, but I think it is a good idea to
know some of
them. And it helps to also have an idea of what parts of your life each
interview will cover.
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