Record that Personal History now - Before It's Too Late.

0175454-R1-E013You should write a book. Five prophetic words that sound so simple. They are not. Trust me. I propose that everyone reading this knows at least one person, even if it’s just themselves, who could say – “I/you should write a book.” Reword that thought to “your story is worth remembering” and the meaning changes slightly.  Go ahead. Buy that video or voice recorder, make time and get the story.

Talking of Funerals Reminds Me – We are all Mortal Beings
Today was a day of funeral talk in my house. We found out my husband’s uncle reached the end of his “dash” and passed away Saturday morning after a brief bout with esophageal cancer.  Sadly, I’m good at funerals as I’ve outlived my brother, mother and father. I’In Loving membory headstoneve reached the age that I’m either attending  funerals of my friends’ parents, or I’m sympathizing with them on what it means to take care of a parent in failing health. People call me for advice. The song “Circle of LIfe” rings true for those of us who have been there.

We’re in the last Decade for new WWII Memoirs
I’ve learned we are all terminal, living out our lives in that dash on our tombstones between “born” and “died.” In God’s wisdom we do not know when we will meet the end of our dash – for my brother it was age 32.  I’m convinced we are in the last decade of new WWII memoirs and stories to be written and published. Any survivors left are elderly and only some relent to sharing their stories with descendants. In other cases, descendants are then left to make sense of discovered papers and photos, left without explanation.

“Underground in Berlin” – a Story based on a mother’s tape recordings just before she died
A new book published September 8, 2015, Underground in Berlin*, is so eerily similar to my experience with Henry Zguda that I first got goosebumps, and then author envy that my project will do as well. Hermann Simon got his elderly mom, Marie Jalowicz Simon to talk about her life as a Jew in hiding in Berlin in WWII. After nine months of tape recorded sessions she passed away. It took the author 15 years to complete his project, and he’d already published 26 other books. I haven’t yet reviewed the book.

Buy that Recorder – and get that story!
Speaking of mortal. I realized today I am somewhat haunted by a funeral I chose not to go to a few years back – for what seemed like very legitimate reasons at the time. Today I feel shallow at the memory – it is something I can never redo. Now change the word “funeral” to “story.”  Everyone has a valid story. Think about it – “history” is really “His – Story” one person at a time. There is only NOW to get the memory of someone you cherish. You can always transcribe the recordings years later.

Washington Post article on Underground in Berlin – interesting.

*First published February 2015 as “Gone to Ground: One Woman Extraordinary Account of Survival in the Heart of Nazi Germany.”


Share Post

Tags: Commentary

1 Comment. Leave new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed