The Journaling Memories process brings together the adventure of recalling the many thoughts
and memories accumulated throughout life. To stimulate individual thought and recall, this
organized process offers hundreds of thought-provoking questions or cues spanning fifty plus
identified life areas.
This concept was inspired by the journals of my father who passed away 20 years ago at the age
of 95. In handwritten form, he recounted in a structured way, many of the events and lessons of
his full life experience. In his journal he left a lasting memory for current and future
generations, including my immediate family. His life stories, and messages have become an
invaluable emblem of his inspiration for the future. Excerpts of his writings offer testimony to
the challenges and conditions of his time. The writings also remind readers of the importance
of maintaining a perspective from past events to better understand the present and give hope
for the future.
To illustrate the limits and hardships of travel in his time, he wrote,"In 1918 It took 23 days to
drive from Los Angele to Johnstown, N.Y. The same trip was 18 days in 1923." He added that the
family traveled across the country, in a new Buick along with his dad, mom, brother and aunt
Florence. They also brought their dog and loaded the car with camping gear and a large
cupboard filled with food for the trip. These items were all attached to the running board of
In his later years he discussed his numerous illnesses and the lack of serious medical attention.
He noted that in 1928, "He had the dentist remove 4 molars without anesthetic." Then, in the
same year, he noted that "the dentist removed an additional 2 teeth but the event was
complicated when a needle broke off in the jaw." Finally, he added that in the following years,
"all his remaining teeth were extracted and replaced with full dentures." His words made it
clear how his memories offer perspective and can live on with importance impacting our family
and future generations.
What I found most inspiring, however, were his journal entries from a few years before his
passing. In them, he described his experience progressing through various age milestones. In
one case, he wrote that there was "no need to explain age 85. You will have lost various niceties
of life. but you can remember how nice they were. No one ever asks you for advice, but you
have memories of a past that will sustain you beautifully and a family that loves you." Through
my dad's journal it became clear that such memories can be a significant element of
understanding the past, living in the current world and preparing, with hope, for a better
The goal of the Journaling Memories process is to offer users an organized process to recall and
record life memories and, leave a record of experiences, insights, values, and hope for future