The other day my father-in-law gave me the scrapbooks that my mother-in-law had made, in the past, for safe keeping. He knows how much they mean to me and for the sake of the grand kids to have in the future - he knows I will preserve them for all the kiddos.
It brought me to tears looking at them as it brought back many memories of all the years my MIL and I scrap booked together and how much we enjoyed that time. These albums are so precious as they contain her voice in many ways. Alzheimer's is such an awful thing in that you can still see the "image and sound" of the person you know, but they're not the true person they were anymore. These albums contain her journaling of the memories of family, and so in many ways the true "voice" of the woman I knew back when...
One of the albums had this layout - which I think is one of my favorites. My MIL came up with the idea to write down a lot of fun stories about first dating my FIL and putting them on the page like fabric pieces on this quilt fabric looking card stock paper. She then titled it: "Pieces of My Memory Quilt" which is so perfect. She did these pages years before she knew she was to have Alzheimer's and memory issues.
This story especially cracked me up of my MIL dating my FIL and he was a smooth operator and offered her a choice between his "collection" of rings. But she would have none of it and saw one he was wearing and said she wanted THAT one. Lol
In all my MIL through her capable years made:
*a heritage album with all the history of both sides of the family (hers and my FIL's),
*several family albums through the years (starting from the infancy of my MIL & FIL and running all through their boys' weddings and grandkids being born etc),
*and she made a special album for each of her boys (my hubby & his Bro) that covers from their birth through to graduation.
These are such treasured albums not only for the parts of her true spirit in them, but also for the history preserved there that we wouldn't really know if she hadn't written it all down as they have a small family and not many relatives living that have the family information anymore.
So I thank God for the blessing of that day almost 14 years ago when I said to my MIL "I think I'm going to go to these scrapbooking classes and look into this as a hobby, do you want to join me?" And she said yes...