I am thrilled to welcome Kris LeDonne to Not Your Father’s Advisor blog as a guest blogger. Her story is something everyone should read, especially women. In my family, women are the ones who keep stories alive, keep memories from being forgotten, and the connection between family members going. Women are the caretakers! Read Kris’s story to learn how to ensure those memories, stories, and family bonds last the test of time.
f your home was in danger and you had to get out quickly, what (not just who) would you take with you?
I was faced with this question almost 13 years ago and would never wish it on anyone. It was a quiet Sunday evening; my toddler was in bed and my husband was at the store when I suddenly smelled smoke. I checked the oven, sniffed outside to see if it was a neighbor’s fire pit then eventually followed the smell down to the garage. That’s when I saw the 5-foot flames (under the bedroom where my daughter was fast asleep) and immediately went into emergency mode. I grabbed my little girl, tossed the cats in a suitcase, put the cell phone in my pocket and got out. After I dialed the fire department, all I wanted to do was to run back in to rescue my photos and albums. These were the things that insurance companies could never possibly replace. I did not lose my home that night (praise God) but I gained something I never knew – perspective and a new purpose, and lifelong gratitude for the amazing Whippany Fire department.
This defining moment was when my mission was born; to preserve and protect family stories. I wanted to serve everyone I could, so they can think about being safe, knowing these priceless stories can be carried on and no disaster could take that away. These defining moments are opportunities. What we do with them is entirely up to us, but no matter how much grief, stress or loss, we have an opportunity to learn, make something better, more lasting and meaningful that can benefit others while we heal in the process.
It took about 3 years after this fire before the smell of a burning fire pit or the sound of a fire alarm didn’t make my heart race and beads of sweat appear on my brow. But during that period my healing came from making “an insurance plan” that CAN replace those captured, treasured family memories and not live in fear of losing them. An even larger blessing resulted from observing this process that expanded my mission to something far more meaningful. My clients experienced strengthened relationships with their loved ones because they were now easy to find and enjoy in their homes!
It may sound awful to someone who hasn’t lived my story, but I am now thankful for the fire that was lit under me; Literally. From preserving memories and decluttering, to making beautiful albums and wall galleries to MENDED HEARTS. That’s my legacy of love.
What about YOU?
What memories do you love to recall? Is there a story that you want to make sure your loved ones can experience now and down the road? If you have memories to protect, I invite you to try this simple reflection:
- Write down the places where you have memories stored that you think may be valuable. (not just the types of formats, but where they exist physically. Jot them down.)
- Next, write down the names of your loved ones that would be touched by having some of these memories shared with them.
- Lastly, ask yourself how important it is to YOU to share these memories with those loved ones. Do you have the time and know-how to do something with them?
If you know your memories are out of sorts or you have lost control of the many formats and you’re not sure where to start or maybe you know exactly what you want, but can’t seem to do it alone, lets talk. Your most precious stories are waiting to be shared with those you love and I’m here to help! Contact me: Krisledonne.com