Monday, November 6, 2017

Record & Preserve

I was reading this article and came across the following little tidbit that really struck me.  It says:

After 400 years of intensive research into the life and works of William Shakespeare, we know almost nothing about the personal life of the most famous writer in the history of the English language. Only about a hundred documents related to William Shakespeare and his immediate family have been found: baptismal records, property deeds, marriage bonds, tax certificates, and court records—nothing about him personally.
Shakespeare’s works are all we know about him. We can study, along with the scholars, his plays, poems, songs, and sonnets and discover something of what life was like for him. “The songs in the plays themselves illustrate many sides of Shakespeare’s genius—his incomparable lyric gift, his ready humor, and his marvelous sensitivity to the sights and sounds of English life, especially the life of the country” (Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 1, 3rd edition [1962], 820).
However, because he did not keep a journal, we don’t know, and probably never will, if he was happy or sad, if he liked sunsets and long walks by the Thames, whether he liked music, what his favorite foods were, if he enjoyed company or preferred to be alone. Some of his plays are set in other countries, and we don’t even know if he ever left England.
Isn't that kind of sad?  It got me thinking about my own ancestors and wishing more of them had kept records of their thoughts and goings on.  There are many grandmothers in particular that I would've liked to have "met" through their writings.
Luckily, I had a couple grandfathers that did keep records and boy do I cherish those.  Ironically, they kept their records in little agenda books and planners (maybe that's where I get it from) and they are small and simple but they provide amazing insights into what they were up to and what they were experiencing. 
Here is a shot of of 4 generations, including mine of record keeping in planner books. 

 There's a lot more where these came from.  These are small planner books and a ledger book of my great grandpa Alfred that go as far back as 1891, my grandpa Wendall's history in the early 1900's and my own dad, John that he kept through the years. I even discovered my dad made his own very cool planner book when he was bishop that make me think this planning business definitely runs in the family.  Haha.  I love seeing their handwriting and I love touching these books and holding them knowing they carried them around as a part of their lives.  

 Check out three generations of memory keeping right there of a man, his son, & his grandson.  Little did great grandpa Alfred know his little journal would be featured on something called a blog, which will now preserve his journal on another level.

I want my posterity to know me.  I want them to know my goals, ideas, ramblings, challenges, sense of humor, etc.  I want them to feel connected with me just as I want to feel connected with my ancestors.  
I was chatting with my mom the other day when I went to pick these agendas up and she was telling me how much she regrets not keeping any kind of record of her own in regards to her thoughts and experiences.  I agreed with her how sad that is BUT, it is never too late.  My mom has decided she is going to write her history right now and give us that wonderful treasure and keepsake. 
Never think that nobody will be interested in your thoughts and ideas.   My grandma Ruby who lived her life in the service of others didn't keep any journals, but she has this cute little book of scraps, recipes, articles or jokes she liked that she glued into this little book and I adore it.  What a treasure.

Did you read that last joke?  So funny.

and she gave us one little glimpse of her handwriting on this little page.  Isn't that a great thought she wrote down?!

So...are you inspired to keep a record, ANY kind of record of your life? I hope so.  I even want to start keeping a political journal and record the daily news and such just because there is so much going on, it's hard to even keep up, but wouldn't that be a fun record?  
There are so many different creative ways to keep a record and preserve it nowadays.  Video, blogging, audio recordings, youtube, social media, memory keeping, etc. Whether it's daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly recordings, the important thing is to just do it and try to be consistent.

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  1. First off, your Grandma had the most delightful sense of humor by her selection of scraps. How blessed you are to have such an insight into her character and personality with these tidbits. And oh the joy of a relatives handwriting. As I run my hand over the poems my grandmother transcribed for me of her work before she suddenly passed, I feel as though my hand is in hand with her. The indentation of writing tool on the paper. It is so intimate.

    Secondly, this struck home to me today. Just yesterday I found out that this grandmother who had passed suddenly almost 25 years previously had been married previously to my grandfather for a short time. She was very ill at the time in hospital with tuberculosis and her children in foster care. What was her thought process? What was it about this man? Why did I not know? We were always so very close. She told me many stories from her life. I felt like pieces were missing. I wish I knew more.

    I begged my mother to share all she knew. To write it down. And then this. I realized I was remiss in my part. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that the ordinary and the extraordinary are valuable to our posterity.

    1. Thank you! Oh goodness that would've been so cool if you had some record of your grandmother during those times. Here's to hoping our moms get stuff written down for us. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Oh I love this!!!! I inhearetted my husband's grandparents bible's and book of Mormon. I Love reading them. He marked it on his thoughts on scriptures as well as ones he tagged very important. I love them.

  3. I have logorrhea apparently - 4 bankers boxes full of double sided single spaced word processed journals plus a box of handwritten. I'm trying to stop writing! Otherwise I just hope there are notebooks in Heaven otherwise I might be at a loss. That is presupposing I'm going there.