In 2001, when my daughter, Jillian, was thirteen, we were in a book store and came across a section of journals by Thomas Kincaid called “Grandmother’s Memories to her Grandchild”. We liked the books so much that we bought three of them (one for Mother’s Memories, one for Grandmother’s Memories and one for Grandfather’s Memories) and sent them to my parents to fill in the very next day.
About six months later my mom came to visit us in Florida. She brought the journal, that I bought for her, completely filled out and gave it to my daughter. There were 120+ pages of my mother’s life in that book. I found out so much about my mom that day that I never knew. She filled out pages and pages of information about her feelings and her life. She described what was going on in the world in 1931, the year she was born, first day of school, first kiss, first date and even what it was like to hold me for the first time. She talked about her favorite Bible verses and what she would like to pass on to my daughter about God. Sharing this book with my mom and my daughter is one of the most amazing memories I have and I will never forget how special she made us both feel.
Tears stream down my face now as I remember reading that book. My mother said such kind things about me and also things she loved about me. The funny thing is that that was the first time I heard those things. Until that moment I didn’t even think my mother knew who I was.
In 2010, my mom went into the hospital because she was feeling weak. I brought the journal with me to the hospital so we could relive the memories we had when we first completed it and start on my own edition, “A Mother’s Memories to her Child”. I spent hours and hours with her and some of those hours she helped me fill out the remaining pages in the book that I bought for me to give to my daughter. She reminded me of childhood stories I had almost forgotten. There were times she wrote in it for me because her memory and hand writing was so much better than mine and at other times I wrote while she told me what was going on the year I was born, what I was like as a child, what my favorite things to do were and her memories of me as a child. The night before she went into surgery we finished that book together.
The next morning they wheeled my mom into surgery to have her aortic valve replaced and she did not survive the surgery. Little did I know the night before that those hand written pages would be the last words my mother would ever write. I will cherish those moments with my mother forever. I haven’t given the book to my daughter yet because I want to hold onto it a little bit longer but when I do I know she will cherish it as much as I do.
I learned from my experience of completing these journals with my mother that it is important to not put off what we could do today. Every day is precious. Never forget to tell your children you love them. Do and say things that will leave lasting impressions in your children’s minds forever. Remember to document your memories while you still remember them. Use the My Turn Your Turn journal to record memories and photos of your children growing up, their achievements, challenges they overcame and even their favorite music, activities or books. And, create your own Thomas Kincaid journal with those memories by purchasing a hard copy on Amazon. You and your children will treasure those entries forever.
Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation. Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar, online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.