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When Linda Spence asked her aging mother to write her life story, her mother stared at a blank sheet of paper and asked—“How? Where do I begin?” In this practical guide to capturing those memories that have been stored away, Linda Spence provides the questions that are the keys to unlocking the memories that make up a life.
Beyond the vital statistics are the personal stories that tell what it was like, what we did, and why we did it, how we feel about our choices, and what our circumstances were. Through encouraging coaching, shared memories, and open-ended questions, the process of producing a personal history becomes intriguing and engaging.
With Legacy the possibilities expand: a personal record is preserved—with its myths, traditions, joys, pains, gains, and losses; a family opens a potential dialogue that will last for generations; the writer has an opportunity for insight and resolution; the culture of a time and place is noted; the tradition of personal story is revitalized, and our present and future find nourishment and knowledge in the past.
Either as a gift that can act as a shared experience as the memories are recounted or as a personal way to take account of one’s experiences, often long since forgotten, Legacy is indeed a way to get one’s story down.
Linda Spence writes and collects Legacy stories in Mill Valley, California, where she lives and works as a consultant.