Friday, November 7, 2014

Mini-Memoir Starts the Conversation

As senior citizens (wow, do I hate to admit that!) we can easily become set in our stubborn ways, and flexibility can be challenging for us. I don’t mean being able to slowly and gracefully bend down and touch your toes—but more like adaptability. In a life of ever-changing circumstances, we need to find new ways to adapt and conquer!
The Mini-Memoir© was born from my desire to accomplish a potentially difficult task. I was scheduled to speak at a senior center, and the director advised me in advance that several of their seniors were in various stages of dementia and might not even absorb the message that I would be hoping to convey. How could I adapt?
I thought about the sadness of the situation and pondered how I might be able to develop a one page fill-in-the-blank sheet that could be beneficial to anyone for generating some memories. Voila!  With the Mini-Memoir© copies in hand, I was able to march confidently into the senior center and explain  the importance of preserving our stories for future generations and assist those who needed help in completing the forms. Compiling all finished sheets into a file on my computer, I produced a booklet that each senior could take home and show their family members. Not only were they able to share some of their thoughts about their own lives with loved ones, but an added bonus was that now the seniors knew more about each other and discovered a variety of common experiences. It was a win/win!
The Mini-Memoir© is my gift to individuals and families to be able to learn more about each other. While it doesn’t take the place of a full blown memoir project, it is a beginning and provides a glimpse into a loved one’s life. It facilitates pausing to recall some favorite aspects of our journeys, allows  opportunity to share some words of wisdom with future generations and gives family members a basis for discussion. It could be beneficial for holiday gatherings, family reunions, clubs or church groups, assisted living residences, hospice facilities—actually, the possibilities are endless!
Copies are available for printing without charge as a full page sheet from my Web site, I hope that you’ll share it, use it to its fullest potential, and please let me know if it produces a desired result for you. I love to hear stories of how this innovative tool works to bring families or groups closer together!


Name_________________________________________________       Age _____________       Date_____________

Location where you spent your childhood

Location where you have lived the longest   

Favorite city and state where you have lived

Favorite place that you have ever visited

Favorite song     

Favorite book     

Favorite movie   

Favorite television show   

Favorite sport that you have ever played

Favorite sport that you have liked to watch

Favorite activity from the past 

Favorite activity now

Favorite memory 

Happiest moment from the past  

What gives you the greatest joy today?

What was your funniest experience? 

Describe your most spiritual moment?

What words of wisdom would you like to share with future generations?  

Mary Anne Benedetto, Certified Lifewriting Instructor, A Writer’s Presence, LLC     
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(843) 215-4676 or (518) 441-8107         Helping People Write the Times of Their Lives       Mary Anne Benedetto, Author of Eyelash, Never Say Perfect,  7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!,      From Italy with Love & Limoncello,  and Write Your Pet’s Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!

See you again very soon. Keep writing and capturing those family stories!!
Mary Anne