I set out with the goal of creating a book to guide you through a number of questions to explore the life of someone special to you. This book also provides a place to record this information.
I hope you will use this book to engage with your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, children and other loved ones. Take the time to ask these questions to discover the favorites, life stories, beliefs and memories of those special to you. By sharing this process, you will find the bond between each of you strengthened.
The two significant events that inspired me to create this book were the unexpected death of my father, Gene Shike, and witnessing the impact of Alzheimer’s on my Grandmother and Aunt. It did not occur to me that the opportunity to ask them questions about their lives would suddenly end. I find myself wondering daily about the questions I wish I could have asked them. These unanswered questions leave a hollow space in my soul.
I received a call from my sister while I was traveling in Jacksonville, FL. She told me my father was not feeling well and the doctors had decided to admit him into the hospital. His kidneys had unexpectedly failed and the doctors said they did not think he had long to live. Shocked to hear this news, I headed to Indiana. He passed eight hours after I received the call.
Witnessing the impact of Alzheimer’s on my Grandmother and Aunt inspired my writing as well. It seemed this horrible disease stole their memories overnight. It is difficult to experience the process of a loved one losing their ability to share their memories.
Many of my conversations with my father were about the latest sporting events. My conversations with my Grandmother and Aunt, did not go much deeper than “how was your week?” I now understand how special it would have been to know their answers to questions such as “What was your favorite memory of me as a child?”
Embrace this book and use this process with the special people in your life. Seize the opportunity to gather this information first hand and strengthen the bonds that you share. Take questions from this book to learn at least one new thing about everyone you know.
It is easy to believe that “tomorrow” will be a good time to ask these questions. Many of the questions in this book I never thought of asking. Many of the questions I did not get around to asking. I certainly wish I knew my father’s answers to the questions within this book. Please do not wait! Dad, I wish you could “Tell Me, So I Know.”