Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Slice of Life 2020: 18 of 31- Trying to Get the Family Writing

March is for daily slicing, and all are welcome! Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

One of the things that happens when you move is you find items you haven't seen in a long, long time. As I packed boxes, I came across the notebook I'd given my father when we implemented a nightly writing session. After he died, I used the notebook as my own so it now contains not only his distinctive (and sometimes tough-to-read) slices of life, as well as a collection of my own ideas. Trust me, I had a moment when I sat down and read his recollections about his childhood dog named Patsy, as well as his gratitude for his daily life. In the late stages of dementia, he accessed stories from his early life and reflections on his right here, right now. 

"How about we start up family writing throughout this time," I said to my family as we finished an unhurried dinner. 

They laughed and shook their heads. Not a chance was the unanimous consensus. 

"Here's what I could write," Julia, who is working remotely, said. "I got up and worked. I went for a five mile run. Today, I got up and worked. I went for a three mile run. Got up and worked today. Six-miler completed..."

(She's very funny.)

"Maybe you should notice more on your run," I said. 

Since they're mostly adults and I'm not going to force anything on them, I'm holding out hope that I get a different response in a day or two. We're all changing our ways in pretty drastic measures these days. 


  1. Finding the notebook with your Dad’s slices is an accomplishment in and of itself. You have also planted the seeds of family writing; before long that will bloom.

  2. What a wonderful thing to have done with your father. I wish I had had the presence of mind to do this with my mom and dad. The idea of having family writing sessions is beautiful. I have no doubt my daughter would react in the same way though! Thanks for sharing. I'll tuck this idea away.

  3. Keep trying, momma! I did laugh at Julia's entries. I have to agree... the days are looking very similar!!

  4. I can imagine my family's responses might sound a bit like that, let's hope they do change and see the value of writing. I do have one daughter who does quite regularly. How good to have memories from your dad in writing!

  5. My adult daughter started an online comic before the crisis, and has chronicled its effects a bit using that medium. I'll have to check in with my college boy and see if he's keeping track somehow. They are both writers by nature, luckily!

  6. My daughter was a reluctant writer when she was young so we kept a notebook and wrote back and forth to each other. It was a wonderful way for me to get a different perspective of her life. How wonderful that you have part of your dad (his handwriting, his thoughts) to hold on to. I still can't look at my dad's perfect architectural penmanship without missing him so much and he passed over five years ago! But, like history - it's the artifacts that help us to remember.

  7. I'm right there with you. This transformation is something else. There is disbelief, then total disdain, then total rejection of all ideas, then compromise. Maybe your family will go through this same cycle. So far this has been the pattern with any deviation from what used to be normal.