What Is That Twinkle In Her Eye?

Your memoir about your mother matters, no question about it. The short, true story you will write to capture your mother’s character to keep her spirit alive for future generations will be invaluable one day. Not to mention how valuable it will be now for you to write this bio-vignette (but that’s something we will discuss at another time).
Remember when you and “Aunt Betty” thumbed through that slew of photographs your grandmother held for safe keeping in an old cigar box? Most of the pictures where in black & white with scalloped borders and faded writing on the back providing a name and perhaps a date, but usually not much more. Certainly nothing to give you an idea about whom the person in the picture was at her core-what made her tick-by simply looking at a photograph. You stop and gaze long and hard at an interesting woman-an ancestor-caught in a photo as she stands by the stove bringing a spoon to her lips. It’s pretty easy to imagine that she’s checking the taste of a special dish for just the right seasoning before she serves it. She looks dressed up, pearls around her neck with two more at a slight drop below each earlobe. Are her eyes really dancing or have you just imagined a twinkle? You see on her face a little of yourself in her quizzical expression.
You have her eyes. You want to know more about her. You want to know if the magic that put a sparkle in her eyes could be the same for you many generations later. Did she love to cook? And what were some of her recipes? Was she preparing a romantic candlelight dinner for two or throwing a surprise birthday party for her daughter? Did she share your love of art? Did she delight in her role in life, or was she underappreciated? Were her dreams similar to your dreams? And on and on, you get my drift…Wouldn’t reading a short memoir about her be a special gift? If only someone had written one.
It’s been said a photograph is worth a thousand words, although, if you want to learn something authentic about the person in the shot a thousand words must accompany a photograph. So this is where you come in. Writing a bio-vignette about your mother or grandmother will be worth more than gold to somebody someday when there is no one around to tell them about her. Because of you, a glimpse of her through your story will keep her spirit alive. Now go write your heart out.

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