Friday, May 4, 2012

Celebrate Your Life ~

On Tuesday my husband and I attended the funeral of a friend. I have known his wife since 8th grade and my husband has known her since elementary school. We have known him since High School.The service was very lovely and we learned many wonderful things about this friend of ours that we hadn't know before. This funeral was indeed a celebration of his life.
This started me thinking about how we should celebrate our lives while we are alive instead of at a funeral.  I think that there are a few good ways of making our life real and present. How about spending time letting our children know more about us through the years.
I know that I have enjoyed doing family histories. My mother wrote her own life history. A few months before she passed away, I put together her history, a short history written by my father and then added talks they had given, poetry my mother had written and pictures through the years of their life. I also, added pictures and thoughts about each of my siblings and their families. I added ancestor stories from both sides that I had found among their belongings. I loved reading those stories.  As I was doing all this I was amazed at what my parents had accomplished. I lived with them and didn't know many different things about them. In fact I was shocked when I found a picture of a boyfriend of my mothers that she was very serious about. I guess I just thought my Dad was the first. As parents I think we forget to share our life and when we do; it is just little snatches here and there. My Aunts have also shared with me funny stories about my mother while she was growing up. I am so happy that I know more about my parents; but wished I had known many of these experiences before they passed away.
When putting together a history of my husbands parents we found out that they had one night when they met and visited with each other. Then on the next night they had their first real date and he asked her to marry him and she said, yes. He left the next day to go back to work out of state. He came back at Christmas and dated her for three days. Three months later he came back and they drove to Logan, Utah to be married in the Logan Temple. He stated they didn't know each other very well, but they knew the Lord wanted them to get married and they have been happy ever since. The entire family was shocked at this one. They were very strict parents on dating; so we laughed a lot when we read his journal entry and then letters that they had written back and forth to each other.
Those who have been on missions should share their experiences with their children. I am sure this would help encourage them to also want to have missionary experiences.
I know that I haven't shared very much with my children about going through nursing school and then working in the nursing profession. I wouldn't have decided to be a nurse if my own grandmother had not shared her nursing stories with me.
I dare say that my children don't know that I had nursing classes in the old Veterans Hospital in Salt Lake City. Only a couple of floors were used for the school. Here we did our physiology class and studied cadavers along with other classes. A few of my class mates and I would go exploring in this large old building. We played hide and seek in the basement where the morgue was located. It's scary just thinking about it. Yes, a couple of my friends and I dragged State Street a few times looking for some boys to chat with.  Oh my gosh; I'd better be careful I am bringing back some more memories I might not want to share.
Are we afraid that our children might find out we are not perfect; that perhaps our teenage years were rough and we struggled. We know how it feels to be dumped by a boyfriend and have a crisis with  girlfriends.  If they only knew that we have gone through similar experiences that they are having now. Do they know what you felt like as parents and wondered if you were doing a good job too?
 Why do we wait to share our lives with those we love the most. Our life experiences could be a great teaching tool for our family. We all have ups and downs in our lives. We all have tender, sweet, and spiritual moments, too. Just like we are to share our testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; perhaps we should share more about how we gained those testimonies.
Take the time to share and celebrate your life with those you love. I maintain that in celebrating our lives we will find how greatly blessed we have been. Our life experiences are just what our families may need as they go through their own life struggles and victories. 
Go a head and start celebrating your life by sharing it.
Here are a few thoughts on how to do that:
1.Write your life history. 2. Record your life on a recorder. 3.Create a video of your life.  4. Create a Blog that your children can read about your life.  5. Plan and share your stories at family reunions and other times. 6. Look for teaching moments to share your experiences. 


Kendra said...

Love this post. People always ask me why I blog....uh for that reason!! Tonight I looked at my baby smile at me and I just thought I NEVER want to forget that smile, so I took a picture!

Thanks for always commenting on my post, you are so kind. I love your posts also, but don't always have time to comment!!

Barb said...

Hi Leann!

You little scoundrel - hide and seek in the morgue!? Hehehehehe, I love this post, it really makes me want to get my act together and write my history, or at least go and talk to my mom so that I get hers put together, before it's too late! Thank you, thank you, I really needed to read this post!

Hugs and Love,

Darlene said...

It was so fun to read your blog today, LeAnn. I can remember doing and thinking a lot of the same things you did as you were growing up.

I did start to write my life history a few years ago. I tried to do it chronologically, but got lost somewhere around 1987. I really do need to get back to it. I hoped every year that I would get it finished and up to date so that I could publish a few books for my kids. Maybe this year????

I think my blogging will help to breach the gap. I do find it hard to post some weeks, because nothing exciting seems to happen to me anymore. Most of my weeks are pretty similar, but I've found that sometimes if I post a memory of something in my long life, it can be interesting, at least to my kids. I just don't know how some people can post nearly every day and keep it interesting.

Your suggestions on how to get started are excellent. I hope all of your readers get busy and start some kind of a history. I am so very sorry that my dad didnt' do that. I was only ten years old when he died. He used to tell me stories about when he grew up in Sweden, but I really can't remember too many of them. I wrote down the ones I do remember, but I have absolutely nothing written by him about his life. I made my mom write about her life a couple of years before she died and even though it was pretty short, I do treasure it so much.

You have given me a nudge to really get back to trying to get past 1987 and I swear I will do it after my family comes at the end of this month. I am still pretty weak from my bronchitis, so don't feel quite ready yet, but I WILL get it done next month because we don't have anything going in June and that's just what I need....a nice slow month. Thanks for getting me back to action. In the meantime, I can at least make a few notes.

Kim-A Creative Spirit said...

It is wonderful that you were able to celebrate your friends life. And wonderful story about your inlaws. I agree that we need to celebrate our life while living it and when I am gone, I want a party celebrating the fact that I have gone on to live with my Saviour.

Sue said...

I'm sorry about your friend, but I am so glad that remembering him prompted you to write this post. I thoroughly enjoyed all of your thoughts, and I agree with every point you made.


Kim said...

Your family will be so grateful for all the work you are doing to capture family history. My gram was a tremendous historian, and wrote 3 books on her family history, along with keeping regular journals. I am so grateful for that!

I read an idea somewhere that a family uses at gatherings, such as Thanksgiving. They set up a video camera, and everyone tells a story about their history. Sometimes they will base it on a particular type of question, such as first date, becoming a parent, etc.

I thought this was a great idea to help capture history before it got lost.

Danise Jurado said...

I agree! My mom went home to be with Jesus about 4 weeks ago. Although I grieve, I do not grieve with out hope... not only hope in Heaven but also because we celebrated life while she was here and at her memorial service. Blessings to you

Mom of 12 said...

I figure that's why I'm writing a keep my own family history. It's probably the only way it's going to get done!

Court said...

Good stuff! When we had kids my husband became determined to capture the life stories of our grandparents. Two of whom have since passed on and I cherish some of those stories!

The Adventurer said...

So true I am going to share this post with my father who can never tell me anything about the time he spent in the military during Vietnam but yet when my husband is with my father, my Dad tells my husband lots of things I never knew:( I would love to get both my parents to write down their history so I can share it with my own children one day. Great post!!


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