Why It’s Important to Capture YOUR Stories (Not Just Your Family’s)

by Lain Ehmann on April 1, 2014

Three years ago this week my mom passed away.

We actually lost her long before her death, as she was diagnosed with early-onset dementia when she was only 69. (Ironic for the mom of a professional memory-keeper, eh?)

Her death is hitting me hard right now, not just because of the anniversary, but because IMG_2514I’m getting ready to tell people why it’s so important to document THEIR memories – not just those of their families. And I realize what a poor job I’ve done of that.

Sure, I scrapbook. A lot. But usually it’s about the here-and-now, not the “story behind the photo.” Or the story that takes a bit longer to write. Or the story that might be harder to put into words. Or the story that requires I share more than I normally do.

AND those are typically the stories we need to tell! The stories that are pieces of our hearts and histories. The stories that matter most.

Not that what’s happening TODAY isn’t important – it is! But we also have a responsibility to tell “our” stories — the stories only we can tell. As scrapbookers (and moms and wives and daughters and friends) we are charged with a critical role – the role of storyteller. I feel called to write the history of my family, and that history includes ME. The stuff that happened long before I was a wife or a mom. The decisions that brought me to where I am today. The stories that will die with me when I pass away, if I don’t find a way to document them first.

I don’t mean to get all maudlin or alarmist on you – but I do want to stress the importance of our role as historian. Just as much as it matters for you to document the everyday little things happening in your life NOW, it’s crucial to give your past that same level of respect. YOUR STORIES MATTER. YOU matter.

“Okay, Laineroo. Sounds good. You’re right. But how?” you might be asking. Well, I’ve got an answer for that! If you need some support and inspiration in this process, I invite you to join us for LOAD514 (Layout a Day). Do you have to join a class to tell your personal stories? No way, no how. In fact, many of you may be thinking that you document these types of stories on a regular basis. If that’s the case, I applaud and salute you. You are an officer AND a gentleman. ;) But some of us find it difficult to tell our own stories, let alone to set aside time to do so.

That’s why starting May 1, I’ll be leading a group of fun and fab scrapbookers like you through the process of creating a layout every day for the month of May. But even more important than the layouts (gasp! Did I just say that?!) are the STORIES you’re going to tell. 31 days of prompts, support, and inspiration to get at the stories that matter most to you, stories from YOUR past, stories that might not otherwise get told.

Are you in? I hope so! Head over here to see a short video and find out more about the process. This course is suitable for all levels of scrapbookers, and all types (digi, hybrid, etc.). You are most welcome to join us. It will change your life – really.


P.S. This “stories-first” approach to scrapbooking is the basis for my CreativeLIVE class that’s coming in May. Stay tuned for more information on that!

  • http://www.jenfunkweber.com/ JenFW

    Why is it that our own stories seem to be the hardest to tell? Or is it just me?

  • molliecoxbryan

    I’m with you on this, Lain. I have scrapbooks that I’ve inherited, which I treasure. but I often wonder what is going on in the picture–what meaning did it have? And in some cases, I wonder who the people are in this old scrapbooks, you know? It would be great to leave behind something of myself–along with all the stuff about my kids. Great post!

  • Aurathentic

    Sorry to hear that you are having a hard time with the anniversary of your mom’s death. I hope you feel better soon.


  • amyptucson

    I don’t think it’s just you!

  • AnnB

    I can totally relate to your grief. It was 10 years ago today that we lost my father-in-law. And in these past 10 years we’ve lost both of our parents & our son. This morning when I realized that it had been 10 years, it made me very sad.
    Hugs Lain! That hole in your heart will always be there.

  • Marcia Fortunato

    I was so excited to see that we’re doing another Past Perfect for LOAD514. That was one of my favorites, and I’m looking forward to recording more stories!
    Hugs to you today, Lain.

  • marciabrown

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom, Laine! May God comfort you as you grieve.

  • lainie9

    Thank you, Mollie! It’s the context that makes it really come alive.

  • lainie9

    Thank you, Marcia.

  • lainie9

    YAY! I’m really excited. :)

  • lainie9

    Oh, Ann. Big hugs to you.

  • lainie9

    Thank you, Tina.

  • lainie9

    I think we put ourselves last on the list. I aim to change that!

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