Monday, November 23, 2009

Ask and Learn (Helen's Story)

High School Graduation

The Youngest Child

it's been over 12 years since my mom passed away. I found out after the fact that she had written a detailed autobiography of her early years before she died. my sister promised her that it would be typed up at some point, but she had a hard time getting to it, so the job has fallen to me.

after procrastinating for another year, i have taken on this project and am finding it strangely moving and rewarding. her presence and voice are so apparent behind the words as i write them and i am gaining a wealth of information, not only about her and her family, but about life in those days (20's and 30's).  she always had a fabulous mind for details and i can't believe some of the little things she remembered!

it saddens me that i wasn't interested enough to ask about these details while she was still alive. my questions now remain unanswered. if you are lucky enough to still have your parents, don't pass up the opportunity to ask and learn. you will both be enriched by the experience!


  1. i love this post Patty. I have that regret where my grandparents are concerned. I wasn't old enough to have the wisdom to ask the things i want to know now. So i often tell my children...ASK, ASK THOSE QUESTIONS! what wonderful pictures and what a gift for you to read and write your mom's words. xxoo

  2. I absolutely love this. How fortunate you are to get to read and pass on your mom's story!

  3. patty, how lucky that you get to do this! And how awesome she took the time to write it out. My husband keeps telling me that I need to write about my childhood for my children so they understand what I went through. I will in time when I think they are ready to read it. you are awesome patty! xo

  4. this is really an enriching experience. i had the opportunity to type my father's story from his words while he was still living. i learned so much, some of which i think my mother might not have appreciated. even then, though, i wish i had asked questions and not just typed. i love that you are so invested in this priceless project.

  5. As the "sister" who made the promise, I feel both guilty for letting life get in the way of finishing mother's story.....and relieved that the narrative is now in your capable hands. I sometimes wish that we could all be the same age at the same time. The older I get, the better I understand mom. Thanks for the gift of your time!


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