Feb 23, 2018

LEGACY LETTER







 

A few months ago I went to a meeting where the guest speaker shared information about recording and celebrating family history.  The speaker had written a memoir and done many projects around the goal of preserving and capturing the history of her family.  One of the examples she shared was the idea of a legacy letter, something I had never heard of before. 

Just recently I did what most people do when the want to get baseline information, I Googled the term "legacy letter" and found many interesting articles, examples and even websites of personal historians who offer their services for a fee to help you capture your families history and/or come up with an appropriate legacy letter, something you are comfortable with based on your personal situation, who the letter is intended for, etc.  

I have a legacy letter of sorts, a handwritten letter my DAD wrote to all his children, (Ana, Rogelio, Elena, Carlos and Tobias) before he moved from Barstow, CA, back to his native home country of Panama, when he retired from his medical practice.  His overall message, he was closing a significant chapter of his life and moving back to Panama and how much he loved us all and thanked us for all the support we provided him during the years he was in Barstow, especially after your MOM died.  

The letter is not fancy by any means, he wrote it on yellow legal size paper, his handwriting is fast and always interesting.  I have the original copy, one of the many letters I've saved over the years; certainly it's a treasure.  

There are many websites, articles and professional services on the web specific to legacy letters. If you are interested all you have to do is have time for some research and certainly consideration for what to write. All the websites and articles that I read share in one significant recommendation, don't wait too long to write your legacy letter. Now is the perfect time. 

If you have a newborn child, you can write the letter as their best gift ever on their 1st birthday and you can update as the years go by.   

If you have a newborn grandchild, same as above, perfect time to write that letter today. 

Anyone in your life that you love and care about that is achieving a significant milestone or life event;  graduation, celebrating their 21st birthday, joining the service, moving across the country, getting married, one of your children, having children, all of these life events can be the foundation and backdrop for your legacy letter. 

The other suggestion write against the context and backdrop of some significant historical event.  Now is the perfect time to write your legacy letter to family, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, mentors, anyone who you want to share your life, love and gratitude with.  It's a way of recording, sharing, and preserving your values, what matters in your life, what you love, who you love and why. A couple of links included below. 

Best wishes and Write On !