Writer and baby boomer Eric Mondschein – who lives in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York – has found a way to collect his memories and hold onto them. How? By writing a book about them. And now, he has written a short piece about the process for BoomerCafé, explaining that memories, like his, help to shape who we are and who we may become.
Isn’t it interesting that when our minds wander, we tend to remember things that we as baby boomers have long forgotten? Some of those memories bring laughs, others draw tears, and a few do a little of both.
Recently while sitting at the dining room table, I recalled where I had shared Sunday dinners with my family growing up. But as I sat at the table, I realized that the room was dark, and the other three chairs had been tilted forward, unused. And it was then that I remembered that I was alone. You see, my mom, dad, and younger brother have all passed on before me. They are exploring new worlds and I have been left behind. Heck, even my dog is gone.
It was that realization, those memories, which provided the impetus for me to write Life at 12 College Road. The book is a collection of thirty-three “real life” short stories that, when taken as a whole, paint a mosaic of a time and place both familiar and distant. Although they fit together, each piece of the mosaic can be viewed and enjoyed on its own, and each provides a different glimpse into the world of growing up in 1950s and 60s America.
[Short story writer Eric Mondschein's latest book, Life at 12 College Road, is now available at Amazon.com.]
While reflecting upon my past to write the book, I found that it was not the major earth-shattering events that were truly significant for me. Rather, it was the small things, many long-forgotten until recently, that deeply and indelibly touched me. Sure, some of the memories involve fire trucks, police cars, and hospital visits. But most do not. And if their retelling can help you to connect with similar moments from your own life, well, that is special. We are unquestionably unique, and yet surprisingly similar. And our everyday lives are more important than we may know.
Through this writing experience, I have also come to recognize that even in the solitude of writing, we are not really alone. Our memories of loved ones, friends, and those we admire are always with us, some nearer to the surface of sentience than others, but they are there nonetheless.
And if we take the time to listen, they have much to offer.
So, get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, sit back, and get comfortable. Join me for a journey down memory lane, where laughter mingleswith tears, sorrow turns to joy, and loss almost becomes bearable.
And, then, sit down at your computer or with pad and pen if you prefer… and write your own memories.
Eric Mondschein is online … click here.