Jackie Wood Lost Memories

Guest Poster Jackie Wood tells her story of eight years of memories lost.

Nothing brings home the fact that memories matter more than hearing about someone who has lost his or her ability to remember. Today, I’m excited to have Jackie Wood tell her story of eight years of memories lost, a cautionary tale for us all. Her dedication to preserving precious moments is inspirational.

Ordinary everyday moments are what make our lives our own. These moments are what define who we are and what we do. The big moments are grand and exciting, but life happens in the little ordinary moments. These daily routines can blur together and be difficult to remember years, weeks, or even days later in the best of circumstances. For me it was especially difficult.

Two and a half years ago, I woke up to eight years of memories lost. That morning my brain, memories and reality were of our family in 2004 not 2011. In my mind, my daughter was five years old getting ready to start kindergarten. The reality was she was 13 and one year away from high school.

This wasn’t the first time that this had happened. For everyone around me this was round three of memory loss. For me it was happening for the first time because the recent loss had erased the memories of the other two. Friends and family remained calm and immediately moved into action sharing pieces of the missing eight years. I listened to the stories, looked through thousands of photos, and watched all of our home videos. Hours spent reviewing what life had been like during the eight years that I couldn’t remember. Yet something was missing.

I have scrapbooked since 1996 and have shelves of albums recording our family life. During the eight years I lost, the albums seemed to lack what I wanted most, the everyday the ordinary the routine of our lives. I had the pretty pages with the big events. Christmas, birthdays, vacations, Easter and Thanksgiving all front and center. But it really felt like the details were missing. I couldn’t answer questions like…What was my daughter’s favorite song when she was 10? How did we spend Sunday afternoons? What meals did we cook together as a family? What was our routine like on an ordinary day? What happened in our community and how did that influence our family? What the heck happened to gas prices?

A few weeks after the loss, I started researching options to make my family albums be something that if this ever happened again would provide me with the details and stories that I was craving. I needed something simple and easy to capture all the little bits of life.

Hello Project Life! The whole idea of pocket page scrapbooking was exactly what I needed to hold the pictures, ephemera and stories of our everyday. The details that you just can’t get back after a memory loss, the snapshots of real life.

Project Life prevents memories lost

A page from Jackie’s 2012 Project Life Scrapbook

I have no way of knowing if the memory loss will happen again but 2012, 2013 and now 2014 are being documented and preserved in a way to help take the sting out of that loss. Even without a loss, capturing our everyday moments is a huge blessing now and for generations to come. I would love to have an everyday snapshot into my Mother, Father, Grandmother or Grandfather’s lives. In fact, when I think about what to include in my albums today I think about what I would want to know about their lives.

As we live through the routine of our lives, it is hard to imagine that we won’t remember something that we do every single day. But our routines do change with time and what is easy to see today may not be easy to remember tomorrow.

Jackie’s blog, Celebrate Life, features her Project Life as well as other graphic design. You can connect with Jackie on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook.


Memories lost but preserved

A page from Jackie’s 2014 Project Life.


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