Several years ago I did a presentation at a local retirement home. I began with brief comments about my books and emphasized how the writing of them had helped me deal with my life. An older gentleman stood and told about finding some “scratching” from his grandfather. He connected with an ancestor he had never known. His comment: “I was so thrilled to get to know him after all these years. I determined to leave some thoughts, some happenings, some ideas for my grandsons.“

Who knows? They may not care but at least they will have the opportunity to go back a generation or two and see what life was like. Now we are in the middle of a unique scenario. This pandemic is historic. What do we think about as we try to stay sheltered in place? Tell about what you are missing, school, planned vacation, sports. How do you deal with it? What changes big or small do you see in the world around you? We like to talk about “back in my day” so now write about it!

Record your feelings day by day through however long we have to put up with this. This might help you get through it. Having a mission often times is good incentive to keep going. it might prove to be a very real testament someday for people you will never meet or later desendants you will never touch, about how you dealt with a predicament that you hope and pray they will never have to. Write about face timing with your grandchildren instead of rocking them to sleep. In the long run every generation is known, not by statistics, but by the stories it tells.

We all remember Anne Frank and her account of her hidden life in WWII. She encourages me with this quote: “I can shake off everything as I write . My sorrows disappear, and my courage is reborn. “

Grab a pen and write your life. Never mind handwriting. grammar, spelling. Just tell it in a book for someone to discover in a trunk in the attic. 


JoAn Martin is a retired teacher with five published novels. Reach her at or


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