Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Is your handwriting worth preserving?

This isn't a rhetorical question. Yes or No... is your handwriting worth preserving? Years and years before I knew how much I loved preserving family stories, I sat at the feet of my grandfather mesmerized at the stories of his childhood. Even at the age of 14, I knew that my 93 year-old grandfather couldn't live forever and I wanted my future kids to know him like I knew him through his amazing stories. I asked that he write down one or two stories. He wrote me a book. Even as a self-absorbed teen, I understood the sacrifice Pops had made. His formal education ended in the sixth grade, the English language had never been easy for him to learn, and he was now completely blind in one eye. This book is one of my most prized possessions!

Seeing the words on the pages all these years later still conjures all sorts of memories. I can smell Pops cheap aftershave; mixed with the sweat of the day's physical labors. I feel his chin whiskers scratch against my cheek as I swoop in for a goodnight kiss. The jagged letters that form each word remind me of the crooked, bony elbow that he awkwardly carries at the side of his slight frame; the result of a youthful wrestling injury. The broken sentences on the page match the years of halting English.

More than three decades have gone by, but Pops is still here, right next to me. He lives through the precious gift that he left me.

So again, I ask the question. Is your handwriting worth preserving?

I came across the most unique concept today. Imagine Forever will take your handwriting... or your kids handwriting... or a parents... and turn it into a digital font that you can use over and over and over again. Having embraced the digital world years ago, I see real merit in the concept and wanted to share the link for anyone looking for a gift for that person who has everything. Really, there are ALL sorts of applications, from thank you notes in your own handwriting (without having to HAND WRITE a single word!), to preserving a child's precious first letters, or journal entries that look and feel like they were laboriously penned.

Whether or not you decide to digitize your handwriting, family members will cherish your memory through the written word...especially if it was written by YOU!
Thanks for the memories Pops! I love you. See another brief tribute to Pops here.


Southern Drawl said...

You are very, very lucky indeed!

Stories by Me! said...

Lucky and incredibly grateful!