Why you need to do this ONE thing every year
Have you ever cared about someone enough to want to preserve their story?
In 1995, before we had the ability to create books digitally I crafted a book about my grandfather’s life and gave it to him and the family on his 80th birthday. It was my hope that my future children could know this great man through this book.
This single book is what started the company in the early 2000’s known as Heritage Makers. A digital, online business that lets people create books and various projects using their own photos and memories.
Like I was saying, I created this book about my grandfather’s life before I even had any children in hopes they would know their great-grandfather someday.
When I started a family I read it to my first two children all the time. These kids are now off at college. But I am happy to report that Teague (20) and Ryleigh (18) both know their great-grandpa and can tell you all about him.
That just warms my heart.
Goal accomplished! (pat on back)
BUT I realized something not so warm and fuzzy the other day. I asked my other two children Gabi (13) and Ryder (10) if they knew who my grandfather was. It went like this:
“Who is my mom’s dad? Can you tell me the name of my special grandpa?”
Wrong! It’s Nicholas–I was mortified.
I tried again, “Can you tell me ANYTHING about my grandpa Wozney?”
Blank stares, then attention went from me back to their iPods.
I thought to myself how have I failed?
How could this have happened? I WROTE that book so my kids would know him, it is on our bookshelf, they can see it daily! What was I missing?
Then it hit me, I never actually took the time to read this book to them. Life is busy. Days, weeks, months and years slip by.
So I got an idea.
My grandfather’s birthday was coming up on December 8th and my plan was to read his story to the children each year (from now on) on his birthday.
So just last week on December 8th, right before bedtime, I read his book to the kids.
It was pretty magical. At first they weren’t too interested but a few pages in they really started to listen and then by the 8th page I was reading about how my grandfather was a businessman and how he loved people and I just burst out into tears. I realized how much I missed him. I ugly cried for a minute and the kids were so still. They felt the love I had for my grandfather. We finished the story with my favorite last page:
It was a wonderful feeling to read that book to them and it only took 15 minutes. Better yet, the next day I heard them talking after school and I heard Gabi telling Ryder how she told her friends at school how her great-grandfather could add up a column of numbers faster than you could type them into a calculator.
I might have shed a few more happy tears.
Goal accomplished! (pat on back)
So if you haven’t created a book about a special family member or loved one (even a pet) you can do it in Heritage Makers!
Did you know a friend of mine named Brenda Kruse created a Heritage Makers book for Oprah Winfrey about her puppy who tragically died and she was so touched she personally called Brenda to thank her? She even put Heritage Makers as one of her ALL-TIME favorite gifts under $100.
It really is the best gift under $100.
It’s powerful stuff.
But learn from my mistake, and make sure you pick up that precious book at least once a year and read it to someone who could benefit from the stories and memories.
-Candi May, Brand Champion for Heritage Makers