Some teens make a book ABOUT their loved one to keep as a way to honor the life they lived. Others make a book FOR their parent to look at and enjoy. Below are suggestions for making both types of books. Take them as a starting point but be creative; change them up, expand on them and make a book that works best for you.
Celebrating your loved one: Their Story
As FTD worsens your loved one may not be able to communicate or remember details of their life. Learning about them by asking questions, collecting pictures and writing notes or short stories will help you create a book that you can share with your family and close friends to honor your loved one’s life.
You can create Their Story any way you choose. Use your imagination and have fun with it. If your loved one can communicate with you, then ask him/her questions. You can also reach out to family and friends who may be able to help you. Ask some of the specific questions here as well as about broader topics such as career, love, marriage, kids, money and politics.
- Date and place of birth
- Who are their parents?
- Where did they live?
- As a baby did they cry a lot? Walk early? Interesting baby stories.
- Elementary School?
- Closest friends.
- High school?
- Sports, hobbies, instruments
- First car
- First job.
- Dates and social life. Prom?
- College years
- Favorite subjects
- What did they want to be when they grew up?
- Favorite types of music, TV shows, movies
- First apartment or house
Falling in love
- Where and how did they meet
- Details about marriage
- Starting a family
- Who are their children? Grandchildren?
- How did they pick names for their children
- Hobbies, interests, activities, sports teams
- Favorite music, books, movies
- Faith, Beliefs
- Favorite memories
- Stories about family
- Travel and vacations
- Significant events
- Places they wished they had seen.
- Activities they would have liked to do.
- Important lessons learned in life.
Other items you can include in their biography
- Family Tree: You can create a family tree as far back as you or your family can remember. Ask about ancestors, try and collect old photos, or ask relatives to share stories.
- Family Recipes or Heirlooms: Are there any special family recipes or any family heirlooms?
- Video Camera or Voice Recorder: Video tape your loved one or ask them questions and video record your conversation with them.
Think about the future
Ask questions that you may want or need the answers to later in life. Getting advice from our loved ones on big decisions you may one day have to make is important. Ask your loved one questions on the topics below now, so that someday you can apply their advice when you make decisions. Topics may include:
- Wisdom on life
Keeping love alive: Our Story
Sometimes FTD can make it difficult for your loved one to remember people and places or to communicate about memories and feelings. This type of memory book will contain a collection of pictures, stories, and quotes that bring your family member comfort and remind them of people who love them and of wonderful memories.
Our Story is your own creation and you can make it however you want. Gather pictures of family members, vacations, holidays, significant events, pets, and special places. Add captions to the pictures to help your loved one identify the pictures. You can also add drawings, poems, stories or lyrics to a favorite song. If relatives or friends have sent cards or letters you can add those as well!
What you will need
- Photo album/scrapbook
- Pictures, quotes, etc.
- Paper (various colors and sizes)
Examples and ideas
Look at memory books other teens have made for their parent, and read about other ideas or share your own so that you and other teens can make extra special memory books.