What about the hard stories?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Over the last few days I've been thinking about the stories I haven't recorded... because they've sometimes just been too hard to write about! In reality I believe that my memory keeping should represent our real lives - but is there a line which shouldn't be crossed? Why do I prefer just recording the happy stuff?

What brought this to my attention is the anniversary of 9/11 this week. My son became quite fascinated with this subject in the last few days as it's a world catastrophic event he was alive for, albeit 4 years old. He asked me what I could remember about that terrible day. I can remember quite clearly my husband calling me from work and telling me to turn the television on. I did, just in time to see that terrible image of a plane hitting the tower. I felt my whole world changed that day. I wasn't scrapbooking in those days but today I watched a documentary about it and thought that if I had written something about it, Nicholas would have been fascinated to read it, all these years on. More from the perspective of where we were when it happened and how it personally affected us.

I've also never included the story of when I was ill and subsequently diagnosed with Coeliac Disease after the birth of my first baby. It was all a bit too raw to write about in the first few years, but I know it could be helpful to future generations to have some of the families medical history recorded. Because, there is quite a history in one side of the family and one day I'm sure a link will be made connecting some of it.

Likewise, the Christchurch earthquakes. We may live at the other end of NZ but of course the earthquakes had a huge impact on all of New Zealand and events inadvertently lead to me going back to work in the insurance industry for a while. I was so busy that memory keeping was not on the agenda so no record of it in our albums.

And of course, more recently, we had the diagnosis of ASD for Nicholas and the struggle to understand how to deal with the unfolding situation. I've had discussions with a group of fellow project lifers about what and how to record about the not so wonderful moments. I think there's a general consensus that sensitive personal information about individuals should be restricted for their protection, but how much of reality do you include? It's a fine line and one I'm very aware of not crossing.

What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear how and what of life's tough situations you record. Wondering how I motivate myself to record these more negative things?

Food for thought!


  1. I did a lot of scrapping about the earthquakes and what we all went through. It was just to tell the story so that in years to come we would remember all the little details that would be so easily forgotten. I haven't done 9/11 but I think I blogged about it so would have that starting point. Medical issues have a photo with lots of hidden journaling. I don't anticipate people outside of immediate family pulling out layouts from an album and reading them.

    1. Thanks Vicki. I've put hidden journaling about medical/personal things in PL so far. I have an old blog which I locked but kept and looking back, I think I could print some of those posts into a book as I used to talk about everyday stuff in those posts. You never know when something you write or say now might be useful later on!


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