I found the inspiration for Pass Down Journal from the seismic life experiences that mold and shape everyone as they move through life. Starting a family was the largest spark to ignite the creative process, but so many other events drove me to realize the potential impact my idea could have in the world. I had always imagined sitting down “someday” to write my son and daughter a memoir, of sorts, that captured the story of me from beginning to end. As with all projects that we plan to start “someday, somehow,” it seemed destined to never happen.
I lost my mother when I was 21, married my husband a few years later and gave birth to our first child in 2010. Shortly after we returned from the hospital I began having pain and numbness in my arm [more symptoms]. After about a month of living with these issues, we decided it wasn’t simply post-pregnancy recovery and I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation and had surgery on my brain and spine a few weeks later to prevent a stroke. Experiencing the devastating loss of my mother and brushing so closely with a tragedy of my own led to some difficult / intriguing discussions. How could we keep the memory of a grandmother alive for our son? How would our son have known his own mother if we had decided to wait much longer on seeking medical attention?
A common theme began to reveal itself over the years. What do we know about the people we love most? More importantly, what could we remember at any given moment about their life stories and how much can we retain over the years? In time the concept for Pass Down Journal became the answer to these concerns. The questions within the PDJ are specifically designed to apply to almost anyone and help guide the author through all of life’s touchstone moments.
In an era of technological connectivity streaming across our screens, it feels like the depth of our human connections are receding. Which is why now is the perfect time to create an analog solution to the challenges created by our new digital life experience. Our stories are our gift to share with the world. They allow us to teach one another as we compare our unique experiences, to relate and empathize more fully and to create a richer understanding of our own life’s journey.