Monday, August 27, 2007

An old African proverb says that every time an old person dies, another library burns down. I realized at the pool this morning that I've been given access to one of the most fascinating libraries I've ever visited. At 85, my friend Jean has a story that has to be preserved. Has she made an effort to write down or record any of her life experiences? I don't know, but I intend to find out. And if she needs my help in doing it, I would feel honored. Allowing her story to die with her would be something I would always regret. I should talk to Pam to see if there is a family member interested in helping me, and what, if anything, has been done, so far, like photo albums, journals, etc. I've got a couple of write-your-life-story type books around here that I could use as a guide, but I'd really like to make a video of the interviews, so as much of her brilliant personality can be captured as possible.

Agatha Christie once said: Autobiography is too grand a term. It suggests a purposeful study of one's whole life. It implies names, dates and places in a tidy chronological order. What I want is to plunge my hand into a lucky dip and come up with a handful of assorted memories.

Every day that I spend time in the pool with Jean is a "lucky dip," as she comes up with a handful of assorted memories every time. I should have been writing them all down, or at least making an effort to remember more of the details. She told me today of witnessing a violent act of road rage, then she and her daughter-in-law Sandra took off after the criminals to make a citizen's arrest. And that's just one of many she's shared with me. I can't allow them all to simply evaporate.

Blogging triggers memories and stories for me and one of the reasons I do it is so I can leave a record of my own experiences, told in my own way. We told Jean yesterday that she needs to get a computer and learn to "surf the web," but she reads 8 books a week, so has very little time to learn anything so complicated. "Besides," she said, "I believe computers are the work of the devil!" She's definitely one of the more colorful character's in my life's story.

Speaking of daughters-in-law and interesting characters, Mary Ann sent a copy of the flyer for the conference they're doing in October, featuring Amy Carroll of the Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you click on the link, it takes only a few seconds to download the PDF, which has a picture of Mary Ann's Praise and Worship group Mosaic. She is the beautiful brunette. Way to go, Mary Ann! That should be a birthday to remember!

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