Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: Lift

by Kelly Corrigan
published by Hyperion
copyright 2010
rating:  3 out of 5

I have not yet read The Middle Place, although the positive reviews have kept it on my TBR list for months.  When I noticed that the same author had a new book released, and it was available at my local library, I spontaneously grabbed it and brought it home.  The book is short (82 pages) and sweet (a letter written by a mom to her two young daughters).  The message is sincere and one to which all mothers can easily relate.

The book's title is derived from hand gliding terminology, which the author explains on page 44:
Turbulence is the only way to get altitude, to get lift.  Without turbulence, the sky is just a big blue hole.  Without turbulence, you sink.
Really puts our trials and tribulations in proper perspective, doesn't it?  Instead of trying to avoid turbulence in life, we should welcome it.  It is through these trials that our character is honed and we are able to expand our horizons.

Of course the message that Kelly writes to her girls is far different than my message would be to my own children, but that is the point.  Time is fleeting and while we think we will "never forget" this moment, the reality is that there are far too many moments for anyone to fully remember.  It is important to write these down - the facts as well as the emotional feelings - and to pass this living legacy on to our children.  It is important to document the milestones, as well as the everyday routines, for they will all be special memories years from now.
I heard once that the average person barely knows ten stories from childhood and those are based more on photographs and retellings than memory.  So even with all the videos we take, the two boxes of snapshots under my desk, and the 1,276 photos in folders on the computer, you'll be lucky to end up with a dozen stories.  You won't remember how it started with us, the things that I know about you that you don't even know about yourselves.  We wont' come back here.  (page 4)
This is the message I taught when I was a Creative Memories instructor.  I have always taken photographs of family events, but then I promptly put those envelopes of pictures (yes, this was in the age of film cameras) into plastic tubs to only be reviewed when a childhood photo was needed for an elementary school project.  These memories are precious - and need to be treated as such.  Not only should they be easily accessible, but while a picture may be worth a thousand words, a picture only tells half the story.  It is important to write the narrative that accompanies each memory so that the family his-STORY may live on.

So while I will probably not letters to my children, as Kelly models for us, I will write the stories of their lives in scrapbooks for us to relive again and again and again.


  1. I enjoyed this gem too! I wrote letters to my kids each year on their birthday, the last one being on their 18th. I have decided to keep doing it!! I need to get back to scrapbooking. I am 3 years behind now.

  2. I liked the message of Lift, but for me, the book was just okay. The Middle Place was much better, in my opinion. I do agree that it's important to remember our past - both the special occasions and the everyday moments.

  3. In many ways, I view my personal blog as my way of capturing stories about our now and and our past (especially my own) for my son to enjoy when he gets older. Of course, a bit of editing might need to be involved!!!

  4. Molly, what a cool title!
    Thanks for sharing a possible read after our group finishes Crazy Love.


  5. I wish I could keep a journal or record the everyday moments. But I'm hopeless. However, I have way more 12 stories from my childhood.

  6. I have many stories and I have recorded quite a few, however, it is the stories I don't remember and the pictures that have memories that are starting to fade that have me fretting. Your post, and perhaps The Lift as well, will hopefully spur me on to write more or to at least identify the pictures better. I appreciated this post, Molly.

  7. This is a thought provoking post Molly, thank you. I certainly have many many stories in my head. just ask any of my long suffering friends! I was visiting friends yesterday who have an 18 month old and she hugs herself when she spots the book her dad made of her baby photos. Love J

  8. Your scrapbooks are treasures! Thank you for reminding me of Kelly Corrigan's books. I've enjoyed her videos a lot.

  9. You are so right about photos. I don't look at mine nearly enough and the memories they evoke are precious. And it is scary to think of how little we remember of our childhoods!


Related Posts with Thumbnails