I’m not doing too well but I had to write this post. It may be a little short, but I hope I give this topic the energy it deserves because this is something I really wanted to write about because I was inspired by my father in law.
My father in law sent my husband and I a beautiful message for our anniversary. What I loved was that he referenced my blog! I was so happy to find out that he was not only reading but engaging with my blog, being able to reference it etc. In that message I realised how well he had written it. Now my father in law, Papa, has always been a storyteller. He has an endless fountain of stories to regale you with. He is well known for his story telling!
I spoke to him about what he had written and how beautiful it was. He surprised me by writing this short piece. You know, trying his hand at it and showing me a sample of his writing style.
As I sit in my nature’s courtyard of my humble residence in Killarney hearing the natural habitat of the bird’s etc the most wonderful greenery of this wonderful place we call the World, WOW it’s amazing to think how the creator of the world’s and heavens has created this for Humans and Nature to intertwine with one another.
Breathing in fresh air listening to the songs and sounds of Allah or God whatever we call out to. Do we really appreciate what God has blessed us with ah no.
I’m sitting at the window looking at the most beautiful scenery, the hills, trees and the sky covering us day and night. The Sun during the day and at night the sky with the most beautiful Moon and Stars and the radiance of the awesome view we have.
The Morning frost bite as it dissipates with the rays of sunlight it’s giving off this most beautiful wonderful odour of fresh air breathing it into those congested organs we call lungs. It’s saying to your mind and heart, please, please, please breathe in more of this delicious food you bringing into me. It’s Mind boggling a World to live in everyday without Pollution. Thank you God for All the Kindness.Papa a.k.a Shafie Rawoot
This is what I loved about the piece. He had totally referenced what he had heard when on phone calls. The chirping birds etc. His depiction of where we live was spot on! We are surrounded by lots of trees, a nature reserve and lush greenery. He had conjured this up in his mind as he has not been to this new place of ours. He lives in Cape Town, a 2-hour flight away. His appreciation for nature and the way he told the story, with such descriptive words.
We always want to read something and have it transport us to another place / time. He did this. I also love his reverence for nature and appreciation for what was created for us. For his first little piece he sent me, I thought it was pretty darn good! I love people to take me on a journey when they write. A journey that enthrals me and pulls me into it. Something I can envision in my mind’s eye. Especially something beautiful like he described here. He is in his late 70’s and I think he did a better job than a lot of stuff I’ve seen, particularly since it was his first try.
I spoke to him about it again. I ventured the subject of writing. He said that he had just never got around to it. “Well I said, being in your 70’s and stuck in lockdown, this might be a good time to start”. I suggested he start doing voice recordings of his memories. He has had such an interesting life. There are so many stories to tell. Being from a totally different generation, listening to him tell you the stories you are transported to that time. I’m always one to ask questions. Many of my questions got really colourful stories as answers.
His parents were immigrants to South Africa. You might not know this but because of the Gold Rush many people from all of the world came to seek their fortune. With this, and before this, the bringing in of so many slaves from all around the world. This in itself is a story I would love to hear in it’s entirety. The struggles of immigrants coming to South Africa. Their stories. I just found out that a convenience store I know of was his father’s store in 1920!
He has been able to share some of the Apartheid rules their shops had to operate under and stories of what it was like for him. You may not know but in South Africa, people were not just grouped as black or white. You had a whole race of mixed people, immigrants, slaves etc. Slaves who had had children with their masters. Remember these slaves could be from one of the bushmen tribes, Malay/Indonesian, black tribes. The intermingling just continued! Farmers would have children by most of the time forcibly sleeping with their workers. How the hell do you explain a bushman farm worker with a kid with blue eyes! I cannot explain how mixed “Coloured” people are! A whole race of mixed people. All I can see is for a country who had apartheid they sure liked themselves some women of colour! 😊 The idea was to divide and conquer the people of colour. They told mixed race people they were better than black people. They grouped people into categories such as coloured (mixed race), black, Indian (his parents were Indian immigrants). They were given differing privileges and standing in society. Divided we fall. It was interesting to hear the stories from the perspective of Indian shop (convenience stores) owners and Indians who had immigrated here to start their own businesses.
He has many stories, including battling things like Diphtheria and Tuberculosis when he was a child, where he endured months of being in hospital ill. Naturally, I ask questions, being as inquisitive as I am. It’s absolutely fascinating in the company of someone who has so many stories to tell. People who lived through the world changing because they have lived through many decades. I find a lot of depth in it. I’m always one to listen to stories from old people about what their lives were like and to ask questions about it. I find it very intriguing.
My Mom and I were chatting today, and I had mentioned this story my Grandad told me about himself that I just thought was seriously cool. She was horrified to hear it and that he would share that with me. I had a massive laugh. He knows he can tell me stories of all the naughty things he used to do, and I will love it and think it’s cool! Clearly, he would not get that reaction from my Mother. Prayers, light, and love for him please. He is not doing well. That’s all I can say for now. I’m still processing my emotions around all of this craziness. Sorry for going off topic but he is massively on my mind today.
So, I will be actively chasing after Papa to start recording his memoirs that we can work on and perhaps turn into a book! Who knows he might even get published? Today I found out someone had a book published at the age of 100! It’s by no means an easy task to write a book but in this case, we will start with recording his memories and creating timelines which he can fill in with stories of those periods of his life. This poor man does not know what he has coming way! I will be hounding someone! 😊
It is absolutely possible! Look at these stories.
5 Stories That Prove You’re Never Too Old To Be Published Click here for this interesting read
My Writing Journey – You’re Never Too Old! Read this personal account here
Here are some great quotes I found about writing your Memoirs:
Lupus has really made me want to start writing my memoirs. Until the find a cure, my prognosis won’t be great. I call my nieces and goddaughter my Girl Squad. I have nephews and a Godsons that I would love to share some of my adventures with them. God forbid anything happens, they will have stories to remember me by. It might sound totally morbid and pre-mature but Lupus is difficult disease and without a cure, who knows. I was a girl guide and they taught us to “Be Prepared”. I learned nothing else there but I did learn to always be prepared.
I might have some older readers or readers who have gone through immense struggles in life and have a story to tell. I’ve provided some resources on writing your memoirs. I always say that my husband and I have a Bollywood type love story. I would really love to sit and write it down. So many people have encouraged me to because oh boy what a saga.. a telenovela even! I think I am going to use some of the exercises they give us in these articles to perhaps, finally start on that love story.
These are two great reads to help you along your way.
How to Write a Memoir: 7 Ways to Tell a Powerful Story, Plus Examples. Click here for the article
TRY THIS CHALLENGE! #WritingPrompts: 52 Memoir Prompts Click here to try this exercise
Stay Safe! 💜
One Love! 😷✌
2 thoughts on “You’re never too old to start writing. A post inspired by my father in law and memoirs.”
Absolutely beautifull. I do hope he will or has started with it. The stories is endless definitely. What wouldn’t i give to hear one of my grandfather’s stories now. Its truely priceless.
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It absolutely is!