This week a cousin called and asked some questions about her mother, my mother’s only sibling. We talked a bit about what I remembered, and then I recalled that my mother had written her memoirs back around 1990. I thought that might have some information of interest to my cousin, but I wasn’t sure where I’d put the hardcopy or if I still had the file in a form that I could retrieve. (I have a box of hard disks, but no computer to read them.)
To my relief I did find the file on my laptop.
My mother wrote her memoir on a Mac, and several years ago I had my daughter convert the file to a WordPerfect file for a PC. Now I needed to convert the file from WordPerfect to Word, which, thank goodness wasn’t that difficult. But I did discover the file had a lot of typos and missing words. I’m not sure if that came about in the conversion process or if it was due to my mother’s age (fingers that didn’t always work well due to arthritis and a lack of familiarity with a computer).
For the last three days I’ve been going through the file (62k words) and making corrections. I’ve also been revisiting my mother’s and a part of my past, and it’s been fascinating.
Mom didn’t write her memoirs with the idea of getting the story published as a book. This was simply something she wanted to leave for her family, and now, fifteen years after her death, I’m so glad she did. As soon as I finish correcting the typos, I’ll send the file to my cousin. I know she’ll find the sections that mention her mother and our mutual grandparents, interesting. I also know, I’ll save the file for my granddaughters. Some day they may find it interesting. And I think I’ll send the file to my son. He’s older now, and a parent. I think he’ll enjoy several parts, especially the fact that my mother was in the hospital for two weeks after having me, and was charged $7.50 a day for the hospital room. (He knows what he had to pay the hospital for the two days his wife was in the hospital after having his daughter, and it was a lot more than $7.50 a day.)
Anyway, whenever people say they’re thinking of writing their memoirs, encourage them to do so. It’s interesting to revisit the past.