Terri Gaulkin’s Memory Book for Her Mother

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share my Father’s Day.

It actually was also my mother’s 65th birthday – so my father and my husband had to take a back seat this one year.

We had the entire family (that’s 4 of us kids plus spouses and kids) and my mother’s two sisters and their husbands for a big cookout. For a gift, I made my mother a Memory Book. I snuck into her address book and wrote to everyone I could think of – past and present.

They all sent poems, anecdotes pictures, letters and cards, etc. I put them all in this big album – it was over 70 pages long! I have to say that it was a lot of work – but so worth it, and doing it ended up being a healing measure for myself.

Getting all the responses back brought me to tears MANY times. However, it also made me realize EVEN MORE, what a special person my mother is and what a full life she has had so far. She is surrounded by caring people, both old and young. It was kind of a “This Is Your Life” book.

I was worried that it would make her sad – but it didn’t – she loved it! She keeps reading it over and showing it off! When I sent out the letters I didn’t bring up the “cancer” issue because I didn’t want this to be a cancer book – it’s a celebration book – and people were wonderful. Almost every person I sent it to responded.

I just wanted to share with you – one way that I’ve found a bit of “healing” or maybe it’s “dealing” with this disease.

Terri Gaulkin (see letter below)

Dear ____________

I am writing to ask for your help in creating a gift for my mother, Marjory’s, upcoming 65th birthday.

I would like to create a “Memory Book” for her along the lines of “This is Your Life.” I am asking people to write something to be included in the book. What you write can be short or long, a letter to her, a story, and anecdote, poem, etc. It could be something funny you remember about her from childhood, your first impression of her, what she means to you, etc. Feel free to include a photo if you like, anything goes. The only requirement is that I would appreciate it if you could write on paper no larger than 8 1/2 x 11. And if you write more than one page, please start on a separate page (not on the back), so that I can insert them right into the book/album.

I am hoping to have all of your responses in by May 20th so that I can spend some time organizing and putting it all together in a nice way before her June birthday.

Please mail your things to me at:

Also, feel free to pass the word along to anyone you know that might not have received this letter. I am trying to sneak into her address book to get names, but I’m sure there are people from her past that you might know that I may have forgotten.

Thanks so much for your help and remember Shhhhhh! It’s a surprise!