Proof of Life | Journal Entry No. 06

Proof of Life

Journal Entry No. 06

Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.

Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue throughout the year.

Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past year and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.

From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.




| My mom is the little blonde second from the left. One more was added to the family when my mom was in high school |


We have all had those experiences waiting for the memories to fade.

In fact, people will tell you that the memory will fade someday.

People will promise you that someday you won’t think about it every second of every day.

Who hasn’t had their heart broken or a dear friendship fade or lost someone dear to them?

I can remember feeling relief when I came to the place when a hardship didn’t cross my mind every day.

Then there are the memories you want to hold onto and you can see them slipping away.

No matter how hard you try to chase after them and keep them in the forefront…their memory fades too.



My Grandma Jeanne passed away thirteen years ago.

I was named after her and her creative gifts have inspired me since I was a little girl.

I have tried to incorporate some of her beautiful day to day details into our own home and life.

I am go grateful for those little daily reminders of her and how she made life lovely.

Other memories are starting to fade.

Memories I can’t put into action.


I have long since forgotten the details of her face without looking at a photo.

My memories of her play through my mind like a flickering movie.

Off and on.  Off and on.

I will get a visual of a moment with her but it is only a glimpse.

I will remember being a little girl in her navy blue Mercedes with white leather interior.

Was it white or is my mind making things up?

I can remember the smell and remember what it felt like being there….but I don’t remember why or what the whole story was.

I am left with a lot of those.


Moments where I can’t find the whole story anymore.

And then I am afraid I will forget all together and they will be lost.

She played such a huge part in my creative dreams as a child.

She didn’t even mean to.

She didn’t talk to me about living a creative life.

She lived one.

She didn’t talk to me about music or art.

She had it playing throughout the house and hung it on the walls.

There are those memories that you want to let go of and hope they will fade into a distant memory.

Then there are the other memories that even though you long to hold onto them you know you can’t hold on forever.

I have already forgotten little details about my babies.

Some days I tell Kelly I would give almost anything to go back to holding each of our children when they were little.

When I feel like I am losing perspective and forgetting the details I go back to videos and photos.

They are my memory keepers now.

I do that with my Grandma Jeanne too.

I put in one of her CDs or look at photos from my childhood with her and then my memories starting flooding back in.

What are your memory keepers?

How do you keep beautiful memories alive?

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  1. April

    This is tugging at my heartstrings…our grandma memories are so similar. My grandma helped raise me because my mom had me when she was only 15. My grandma quit her job, that she loved, for 2 years while my mom finished high school. I lived either with them or within bike-riding distance from them for most of my life, including 4 years of going to college. We grew up gardening, sewing, learning to crochet, doing decoupage, baking cookies for the neighbors, painting ceramics, taking photos, all the crafts!! My grandma made gifts for all of us and all of her friends. When she passed away I found an entire dresser drawer FILLED with ‘thank you’ notes from all of the people she’d given a handmade present. There were hundreds of cards!! I will never forget this wonderful feeling that washed over me knowing that all of these cards represented someone who a little piece of my grandma’s heart. They had an afghan or shawl or doily or wall plaque or figure on Christmas ornament…some little piece of my grandma to remember her. Just like I do 🙂

    When I see people struggling to monetize their creative gifts, I’m so thankful for the example of my grandma who just used her gifts to share her heart with us & shower everyone she knew with extravagant love. Thank you for being this same kind of person ~ shining your light, sharing your passions & showering all of us with your love XOXO April

  2. Jeannette Sowman

    Certainly my photo albums and Mom’s photo albums help keep my memories more vivid in my mind, but I have many, many memories that were never photographed! Memories are treasured in my mind and heart, and I love remembering them all. I appreciate having these memories easily accessible to me now, while realizing that this will probably not always be true! My sisters think I have the best memory, but sometimes I wonder if I am just making these memories up. I don’t think so, but I do wonder. It seems that many of my most vivid memories with Mom are involved with music, art, reading, cooking, decorating the home, and making us clothes. All of these activities were under the bigger umbrella of God, church, religion, faith, and the Bible. This bigger umbrella influenced all of her entire life and how she lived it, consequently it has influenced mine. Maybe these memories remain so real because I have always been involved with these same interests with my own family. I value what she valued. I am lucky enough to have much of her music, art, art books, childhood books, adult books, photographs taken by Uncle Dick, many of her recipes, many of her decorative items, some of her clothes which I love wearing, and her beautiful needle work in my 2 homes. Memories abound in both my homes!

  3. Beth

    I have the fondest and most vivid memories of my grandma and when I can’t sleep, I lay there walking myself thru her house, remembering all the details. Now that I’m a grandma, I pray that our granddaughter sees me as art and music, since that’s what’s on my walls and in the air . I can’t wait until she’s a little bit older so we can make creative memories together….and lots of very imperfect messes.

    1. Becki Morrison

      This touches my heart as well. My fondest memories are of time spent with my grandparents. Both grandmother’s gave me so many beautiful memories that nourish me to this day. They have been gone a long time but their gifts live in my heart. There is a lot I can’t remember but the love and warmth I felt from them will never fade. And i also have hand made items of theirs that i cherish. I have these and photos around me. Thanks for asking, its so nice to hear others share similar memories.

  4. Kelley Dophied

    These thoughts and yearnings are so beautiful, so real and relevant. I lost my dear mom 2 years ago, and my dad was 8 years ago. There are so many memories and “moments” that I cling on to. I tell myself that I will write these down to remember them, but I haven’t. I so need to do this. I bought my mom a fill-in-the-space book about her life, but sadly she never was able to fill it in. This makes me think not only to record my memories that I cherish, but also those facts and stories about my life too. So one day, my kids will have details and memories to hold on to as well. Maybe I should use that book instead of it just sitting there empty and lonely. Thank You!

  5. Paula Keeler

    Every Sunday my precious Grandmother Jeanette Carpathia (also known as Jean) would call me. When the phone was answered she would say my name then her infectous giggle would follow. There is not a Sunday that will go by when the phone rings that I have the anticipation and expectation that I will hear my Grandmothers voice and laughter. When the realization becomes glaringly apparent she is gone, I go to her cookbook that she directed to be gifted to me after she passed. This is the cookbook she got as a young wife in 1922, and has her handwritten notes, recipes, and marks all throughout the cookbook. The spine has been repaired by her with white electrical tape from years of use. This cookbook seems to be held together by love, memories, and my Grandmother’s spirit! When she died her daughters were fighting over this cookbook. Grandmother had it specifically directed to me, and I can feel and smell her in this cookbook. Sounds strange I know, however it helps keep this precious and important memory alive in my heart and soul.

    1. Karyl G. Howard

      Not only do I love your words and the inspiration they give me to write my own memories, I love the words that the other “commenters” have shared. Thank you, Jeanne and everyone who has commented!

  6. bonniecrayfish

    I know what you mean by snippets. Our Dad died when I was 9. I’m now 73 and I scour the recesses of my brain for memories of him. I remember the day he collapsed two months prior to his death. It was a Monday, Brownies day, and I didn’t want to go. I went home to a houseful of dour faces. Never in my life had I been so enthralled with the two copper pennies I put on the toadstool that day. Two dull pennies on the paint worn red and white toadstool made me feel that all was well in the world!
    Another snippet is being allowed a sweet, milky cup of tea in a soft powder blue plastic mug. I can see it and smell it but have no recollection of why I was given such a treat!
    Memories are wonderful grounding moments that have the ability to keep us connected to our past. I love them!

  7. BonnieBeth

    Such a lovely post! My own mother died when she was 90 and at that time she was STILL talking about her fond memories of her mother and grandmother. I pray our loving memories are the last to go… May they be with us as we go….

  8. Frannie Stevens-Meshorer

    From This Moment Forward ….

    I have often, over the years, thought of ‘snippets’ of moments I have lived with family and friends. And I realized that THESE MOMENTS … RIGHT NOW … are TOMORROW’S MOMENTS that will be fleeting IF I don’t take responsibility and create ways for MY children and ‘grandchildren’ to have “PROOF OF LIFE”.

    I started journaling ‘their stories’ accompanied by many, many photos and videos. Another way is to ‘write our snippets of our parents, grandparents and those we loved’ .. and make sure this ‘journal’ is ‘bequeathed to them’ “someday”.

    “Someday” .. they will have the ‘proof of life’ .. that we did not have. And THAT will be a huge part of our ‘legacy’.

    With our current ‘technology’ and ‘social media’ … a way of ‘passing their stories’ to many others, I post photos and tell stories of their ‘big and little moments’ of my grandchildren … to friends and family via: FACEBOOK. And yesss .. do make a hard-copy of your favorite stories and tuck them into a journal for them … someday.

    I love how often a friend will tell me … (when I post a ‘Facebook memory’ that pops up .. “OHHHHHH .. I remember “Prince Luco”*** when he was just born .. or they will remember the ‘event’ that was represented in the ‘Facebook memory’. It is almost like my ‘littles’ have a huge family all over the world! ( *** Prince Luco is the name that his three little sisters gave him .. and has stuck to this day. Aaaahh. … another ‘memory moment’.).

    I believe this idea was born in me when I realized how little I remembered of my own ‘mama’ … who ‘left us’ when I was only 7 years old. And the BITTERSWEET was that I needed to remember the ‘good things’ .. because by ‘left’ .. I mean ‘abandoned’ us. And do write the happy and the sad .. so often, years later, you (and they) will realize the GOOD that often came with what ‘seemed’ to be “the bad”.

    Encourage your children .. your grandchildren .. to ‘journal’ their stories.

    And DON’T STOP when your children and/or grandchildren reach adulthood. Keep journaling .. snapping photos … for as long as you have breath.

    And KNOW .. that YOU will indeed be ‘here’ as long as they have your stories to remember you by.

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