Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Club Day: Do you know your family????

This month, we read two books! I had the pleasure of reading a very well written book called The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. When Julia travels to Burma to search for her missing lawyer father, she discovers much more than she expected. Join us at From Left to Write on February 1 as we discuss The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

As I read about the woman looking for the truth about her father, and realizing how much of him she didn't even know, I thought about my own family. My father passed away when I was four. I don't have many memories of him, but I do know I was a Daddy's girl. I have pictures of us laying in my crib (together!) and working on his car, a very special picture of him holding me and gazing at me lovingly. Those are treasures to me. My mom remarried and I was lucky enough to grow up with my step-dad as my father, but maybe because of this, I never learned much about my real father from my mom. I didn't even know his favorite color, his favorite food, what he wanted to be when he grew up...his family lived far from me as I grew up, and his mom spoke little English. When I moved to Southern California, it was wonderful to finally be near his family. I started learning some Hungarian, spending hours looking through family picture albums with my Grandma, and spending time with my uncle. My aunt, who was the closest to my father, came to visit several times. She was the one to finally write down and tell me about my father-stories of his youth, what he liked, etc. I keep those papers in a special place. Now I have a picture of what my father was like! I truly wish I knew him.

I hope and pray that I live a long, healthy life with my children, but I want to make sure they know me! I scrapbook (well...not so much anymore), but even when I feel like cleaning out my supplies and giving them away, I decide to keep it up-even if I only scrap a few pages a year-those are family memories and family stories that I want my children to know. A few years ago, I made an "all about me" album and an "all about us" (my husband and my love story)album. Both were kits that I basically had to just add pictures and words. I am so glad I have those. I hope my kids will be so glad, as well, someday. Even if you aren't interested in scrapbooking, keeping your family stories alive is important. Blogs, family journals (I have one and it's just a small spiral bound notebook that I jot down those cute sayings of our kids that we want to remember and think we will...but seriously, we don't!), videos, those fill in the blank "All About Grandma" books (I have one from my mom's mother and I am SO happy I have it. I made copies for the whole family after she passed away)...your family will thank you in the future!


Janin Wise said...

Some of my favorite memories from being a little girl would be sitting amongst all my Grandmother's photo albums, listening to her tell me about my mom, her sisters and their life when they were my age (:

Sendker said...

Many thanks for your post and the thoughts inspired by my book. I have three kids myself and could not have written the book without the experience being a father. I have often thought about how little I know about my parents, they were 26 and 40 when I was born and now I realize from a very different perspective that there are many things my kids won't know about me, for better or worse....