Submitted by Sharon Murdoch
A few weeks ago, I celebrated a big birthday with my two daughters (Candace and Angi) and six grandchildren. I expected the usual cake and massive candles. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened that day! Although it was Candace and I who began the storybooking movement some 10 years ago (our company name then was My Family Tales), with Candace writing the very first storybook for my father’s 80th birthday, I had never received a storybook written about me. I was about making it happen for others. Well, it happened to me-I was storybooked!
I cried and cried as I read my storybook and saw family pictures I had not seen for decades. Nothing prepared me for the buckets of tears. I kept saying to myself, “I need to find something funny as I will drown in my puddles.” And then it happened. I saw a picture of my mother’s and father’s wedding day and read the story along the side of the page.
I knew that this wedding day had not been “pretty” with a lot of in-law fighting and the wedding being postponed from 2:00 in the afternoon until 8:00 in the evening. The words on the page read, “Do you think that the people in this wedding picture look happy? Well they’re NOT.” Now, I couldn’t stop laughing. After I settled down, Candace told me that she attempted to fudge the wedding story but finally decided to just tell the truth throughout the entire book even though some of the story was highly abnormal for what we perceive as the ideal family. But this is me and my story, and Candace wanted my grandchildren to know of my trails so that they too could dream in spite of life circumstances and know dreams do come true, like our present company, Heritage Makers.
Today, Candace and I have chosen to become storybook consultants, working throughout Canada and the United States, helping to ensure every family has an opportunity to discover their stories. I have long used the phrase to express the motto of the company, “Photos without stories are memories lost.” Today, I know first-hand that this is the essence of why we create storybooks.
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