When I first began talking about writing a book, a friend lent me a copy of Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heart-Breaking Memoir by Carol O’Dell. The book was signed by the author, and the inscription read “Tell your story.” Throughout the process of turning my memories into a book, I struggled with why telling my story was of value to me and to others. Here are some of the conclusions I drew:
- Working through my life–the good parts as well a the not so good parts–was good therapy for me. Putting feelings and thoughts into words forced me to look closely at and come to terms with some things that I had ignored for too long.
- My life story is not all that different from millions of other caregivers, divorcees, and mothers of children who have struggled. Others see themselves in my story and realize that they are not alone.
- When I share the funny side of serious and even tragic circumstances, it gives people permission to laugh, and hopefully, it lightens their burdens a bit.
- My story is one about continuing to live life in spite of some extreme difficulties, and I hope it encourages others to do the same.
- Finally, by sharing my story, I give others permission to share theirs. In the sharing, we are all drawn closer together in a community where we can care for and strengthen each other.
What is your story? Grab your writing instrument of choice and tell it.
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