This Week’s Writing Prompt

For my parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary in 1995, I wanted to surprise them with a special anniversary gift: a book describing how they first met and later married.

I secretly interviewed my mom while my dad went to coffee at McDonald’s as he and his buddies did every morning of the week. I talked with my dad when my mom when to mass on Saturday evenings. I intended to learn the details of how they met and write their sweet love story.

The problem was, they each remembered things so differently! On the big points, they agreed, but on everything else, I wondered if they experienced the same event. No way could I write a unified account of how they met. So, I decided to tell their story as he said-she said. That approach was the charm of their story.

It’s amazing how differently we remember the same event than someone else who was there. Have you ever experienced this phenomenon?

Choose an event in your life that someone else remembers differently. Describe both memories and debate the differences. Who do you think is right? Why do you think you remember it differently?

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This concept is important, funny, and valid. We did a similar questionnaire for my parents’ 50th anniversary, using maybe 12 questions and collecting their comments about each one. Additionally, I used the concept after my husband died. I stumbled upon a list of memior questions and compiled answers fron each child, my in- laws, and myself. The various answers have a great overall perspective. Seven minds are better than one!

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