Father’s Day Giveaway

About fifteen years ago, I thought it would be neat if my mom and dad wrote down some of their memories for me to keep. I purchased journals for each of them, the kind that are filled with prompts and questions. I couldn’t find any for parents, so I purchased grandparent memories.

In true fashion to their personalities, Dad filled his out (mostly) and got it back to me right away. Any information he left blank, I wrote more questions on sticky notes throughout the journal and gave it back to him to complete.

Mom didn’t want to fill hers out. She was always, always such a private person. So I didn’t press for her to do it.

Then I forgot about the journals.

Fast forward to Mother’s Day this year. I’d gone to visit my dad, since we’d only lost Mom a few weeks before then. It was such a hard day for all of us.

That evening, Dad asked if I could email something for him. I was sitting at his desk with him, the phone rang, and he wandered off to talk to one of his cousins. While I waited for him to return, I leaned back in the office chair and looked at the bookshelf next to the desk. I’d seen that bookshelf dozens of times in the weeks prior to Mom’s passing, since I was there with Mom and Dad more than I’d been at home. As my gaze drifted over the books, it was as though one suddenly stood out to me. In fact, it might as well have had a spotlight shining right on it’s spine.

Slowly, I pulled it off the shelf, opened the book, and cried, because Mom had filled it out after all.

And finding it on Mother’s Day, when I was missing her so, so badly made the day seem a little better, like she’d left me that gift to find when I needed it most.

She included stories I’d never heard her tell, details from her childhood I didn’t know, and things about me that made me feel so incredibly loved. Not only did every word written in that book mean so much to me, but I cherished the fact that I had something written by her hand.

Dad found the journal I’d returned to him to complete, and when I came home, I brought both of them with me.

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I encourage you, if you are a parent, or a grandparent, or even a beloved aunt or uncle, to fill out one of these journals. It might seem silly while you’re doing it, but someday it is going to mean the world to someone who is missing you so much their heart aches with every breath. Don’t type it out, write it by hand. If you doodle, draw in the margins. Leave a little something behind for those who will one day be unbelievably grateful that you loved them enough to do that for them.

Because I know firsthand how much it means to have these journals, I’m giving away a set for Father’s Day.

To enter for a chance to win a Mom’s Journal and Dad’s Journal (flowers not included), all you have to do is post a comment below. That’s it.

As soon as you enter that comment, go tell a loved one how much they mean to you. You’ll be glad you did.

The giveaway is open through June 23. Winner will be selected and notified by June 30.

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100 Responses

    1. Thank you. I keep a journal which is usualy very mundane. This would be better, probably!!

      1. That is a beautiful story and I’m glad your mom filled out her book. Cherished memories. Learning more about her. That put tears in my eyes while reading this.

        1. Oh, thank you, Norma. It was just such a precious thing to find on a day when I needed to feel close to her. Blessings to you!

  1. I love this idea! Hope to win 🙂 Sorry for your loss and I’m glad your mom was able to leave you something behind that you can always cherish

  2. Oh WoW Shanna I am sure that was a wonderful wonderful feeling when you found your moms journal. Love and Hugs to you

  3. I have had a Grandmother’s journal like this for years and it still sits blank. You have prompted me to fill it out. My biggest problem is now I need four of them for my four grandsons. What a treasure you have from your parents.

    1. Oh, I hope you’ll do at least one. If nothing else, they can share! But four copies would be amazing! <3

  4. I really wish my Mom and Dad had done a journal! My Mom has been gone since 1984 and my Dad since 2007. They were both gone too soon.

    1. So sorry for your losses, Bernice. I hope you have some wonderful memories to see through the tough days. <3

  5. Woooow how beautiful a moment that had to have been. I love Heavenly Father watching out for us and giving us gifts through others at just the right time. (((HUGS)))
    I’d love to give this to my mom and step dad. My dad is not living anymore and I wish I knew more about him sometimes (my parents were divorced when I was 7).
    I wuld love to have memories to hold onto when my parents pass. I love this idea. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Sabrina. So sorry you lost your dad. Hugs to you! And I do love our Heavenly Father’s perfect timing! <3
      Thanks for stopping in today! <3

  6. What beautiful memories you have!!! I was on Amazon looking for father’s day gifts and books like these popped up as items that might interest me and I saved to my wish list. I am planning to get one for both mom and dad. I didn’t want to make mom mad by giving one to dad and not her 🙂 So I plan to order one for each and send after father’s day so they can fill the books out for me. What a coincidence to see you having them for your parents. Memories to treasure. Hugs to you Shanna

    1. How fun they popped up when you were searching for a gift. I hope they both enjoy filling them out. So sweet of you to send journals to your folks.

  7. Love this, Shanna! So glad you found your Mom’s journal and have both hers and your dad’s to treasure. Listening to my grandma talk about her childhood is one of the things I miss most about her. Sometimes she repeated stories, but I never minded and now I wish I had them written down. That is such a special gift!

    1. So glad you have those sweet memories of your grandma, Jamie. Maybe you could write them down for your kids.
      And thank you! It is such a treasure!

  8. So nice, I wish I had one or even an old card from my mom. I got nothing but memories. Of both actually. My mom and dad.
    I’d like to think someone in my family thought highly of me like ghat

    1. Thank you, Kathi. So happy you have those memories to cherish, and so sorry for your loss. Hugs!

  9. Shanna- What an amazing gift your mom left you. Now you have both of your parent’s journals. What an absolute wonderful, wonderful idea. I am going to do this. I wished I’d of done this with my grandparents, especially granny. I know you’re still mourning, as you should be, but I do believe your mom truly left for you, a forever treasure on Mother’s Day. Love you so much my sweet friend. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. I really felt like she put it there for me to find, just when I needed it most. I hope you do give journals to your family members, Tonya. Some day they will be precious treasures! Love you, too!

  10. Yes these are awesome. My grandfather did one for our daughter. It’s nice to look back since he’s gone now.

  11. This is a wonderful idea! I wish my dad was still alive. I’m grateful for all the stories he told before he left. Truly a special gift!!

  12. Shanna! I did the same thing, except my dad was the one that didn’t fill one out. I could only find a grandma one, but my mom filled out half of the questions and added photos that mean the world to me. It’s one of my most cherished possessions. I wish she’d filled out the entire journal, but I’m so glad for what she did!
    I hope you’re doing okay. I think about you often.

    1. Oh, Lynette! I’m so glad you have that keepsake from your mom. Thinking about you, too. Hugs and love!

  13. This is wonderful. I love listening to my parents talk about how they grew up and things they did. The difference in society will be greatly changed between grandparent/parent/child etc. Great Idea.

    1. It will be such a vast difference in generations. Hope you can get your parents to write down some of their favorite memories to pass on. Thanks, Wendy!

  14. This is such a precious idea. I used to be quite the journal-keeper, though I’vefallen out of the habit recently. I really need to get back to it because someday my little musings may speak to my children and future generations.

    1. They definitely will, Jess! Whatever you can write for them will become something they cherish someday.

  15. I think of all the wonderful stories my grandparents and parents and their generations told and am so sorry we didn’t write any of them down. We were too young and later, when we asked questions, they seldom said much about the early days. They are all gone now and my generation is now the grandparent/great grandparent generation. This journaling is an excellent idea. Not only does it leave a record for the following generations, but is a good way for us to take a trip down memory lane to think of things we rarely do. Thank you for such a wonderful giveaway.

    1. I’m so sorry you didn’t have a chance to record the memories of your grandparents and parents, Patricia. But I hope you’ll preserve your memories for the following generations. They will treasure those journals!

  16. I am so sorry for your loss, but how nice to find that your mom wrote things down for you. I wish my mom had done that. There is so much I don’t know about her life. My cousins in my father’s family has a web page going and I have learned so much that he never talked about or didn’t tell us. This is a great idea and I am going to try so my family can read it after I’m gone. Thank you for sharing. Love you so much.

    1. Thank you so much, ValeRie. I appreciate your kindness and I’m so sorry you’ve lost your mom, too. I hope you can glean a lot of wonderful family history from the information your cousins are sharing. I hope you find time to do journals for your family. They will be so grateful you did.
      Love and hugs!

  17. My mom’s 96th birthday is tomorrow. I’m definitely going to get her to jot down as many memories and family connections she can remember. She’s still living at home alone. I’m crossing my fingers for another healthy year. My father’s been dead since 1992, 28 years. I regret not learning more about his life and memories and relatives.

    I hope everyone takes the time to connect with their surviving parents. I’m going to start writing my thoughts and memories down too for my children and my grandchildren.

    What a wonderful idea Shanna!!

    1. Happy Birthday to your mom, Laurie! Hope she continues on in good health. And definitely start writing down your memories and thoughts for your children and grandchildren. They’ll mean so much to them some day.

  18. It will mean a lot!
    I have my mother’s letters that my father wrote her while overseas during WWII.
    What a blessing!

  19. Hi Shanna! Just saw your Facebook post. Not sure when I purchased a Reflections from a Mother’s Heart Journal. I started filling it out. It has about 10 journal pages with questions for each month of the year. Since I just celebrated 7 decades, I will finish the journal. Think I quit because I was teaching full time, my youngest still lived home, was caring for my aging parents, and became a grandmother. Thanks for the reminder. After my parents passing, while prepping their home to sell, I found my German mother’s WW2 journal, which mainly contained poems and songs that encouraged her. In it was a timeline journal entry January 1945 when she survived the Russian bombing of Kalingrad during a polar vertex. What an eye opening account. Also her nursing school entry essay which added information to her biography. Best wishes.

  20. I love this idea of having a parent or a grandparent journal about himself/herself to share with a child or grandchild. I truly cherish some of the items I have from my parents now that they are both deceased. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  21. It sounds like the Holy Spirit send you to the right place at the right time to fill your heart with love.❤️

  22. My Dad has said how he regrets not asking his parents more questions about their childhoods and families, so hopefully he be willing to fill one of these out for that reason. I’m so glad you found that treasure left by your Mom when you did!

  23. I love this idea! It would be great if both my Mom and I completed one. I know that I would love reading my Mom’s thoughts and I believe that my children will too. Please advise where these can be purchased. 💖💖 Debbie

  24. A couple years ago I talked with my dad and an uncle about my grandfather. I learned so many things and I wrote it all out to tell stories of his life. I have started that with my dad. When we are together I’ve asked some specific questions and then all of these stories he started sharing that I’ve never heard before. I love the idea of them writing stuff down. (My mom is very private and shares very little of her childhood with any of us).

  25. Sorry for the loss of you mom.
    I have a grandparents journal I got 3 yrs ago that I have not filled out.
    You have made me want to start filling it in. I’ll pull it out and do it
    with my husband. Thank you for sharing your story.

  26. I wish we could have done a project like this before it was too late. Perhaps I should do this now for my kids.

  27. Our oldest adult child bought small journals for my husband and I to fill out. It was fun to answer many questions, but certain questions were much more difficult to answer. So many thoughts and which ones do I want to write down in a more permanent form? I only feel badly that I could not make copies of both of our journals for our daughter and youngest son! Loved hearing your experience. That has God’s fingerprints all over it!

  28. Thank you for this wonderful idea! I may also add personalized letters for each child and grandchild to stick within the pages of the memory album(s).

  29. What a great idea, it would be hard to give to my mom who forgets a lot now a days. My mom is 92 years old and is forgetting a lot. My dad is 89 and forgets a lot too. I guess I should start one before I start forgetting😁. I think they are a great present for my 3 boys and my grandchildren in the years to come.

  30. I do wish I had something like this from my parents. I think it would be a great gift to give my own children.

  31. Both my mom and my dad are long gone, my dad at 57 and my mom at 82. I would have treasured these journals and am sorry I never thought of it. My dad used to tell us tales and my mom used to give us the same rules to follow that she grew up with. I really miss my dad because I was daddy’s girl and he died too young. I can remember many of the things he told me and many of the little things we did together, just him and I. What a treasure you have to help keep them in your heart. I don’t know what my kids would do with such memories. My sister was mom’s girl but she would rather forget except for all the “things” estate sitting in her house until she decides to sell them. We are all different people but what is really important is and always be the people we treasure who treasured us.

  32. Great idea! I’m actually going through old pictures that were my parents and so many I didn’t know existed. Sure wish we could hear the story behind some of them. So to have these journals and start something for our kids and grandkids would be awesome!

  33. We have 12 grandkids and expecting our 16th great grandchild. My husband is 81 and don’t know of anything that would mean more to them than his life stories and memories of his growing up and of times with them. We have been married for 60 years and COVID-19 is very sad for him not being able to have them run to him for a hug. This would give his days a new purpose.

  34. What a wonderful giveaway and a beautiful post. Both may parents are gone. My mother was a born letter writer. She used to correspond with friends and relatives all her life. Everyone looked forward to her newsy and extraordinary letters filled with family news, events and important details that she imparted.
    I inherited her love of letter writing and still continue to write to family especially when there is a birthday or celebration involved.
    She also did keep journals when she had time. Nothing mundane about her lie and her thoughts and ideas.
    I love letters and journals since they are important, meaningful and real treasures.
    I write daily about life, my family, and when I was extremely ill. The journal was my outlet.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  35. My Book Buddy (from another group) sent me a Grandma Journal. You story inspires me to start completing it now. Thanks

  36. Your thoughts about your father and mother are unforgettable and precious. Finding the journal with your mother’s notes is important and meant the world to you. Being a grandmother to four gives me great joy and putting my hopes, dreams and thoughts in a journal where they can hold close gives me great joy.
    A journal has always been an integral part of my life since my mother gave me my first one when I really could understand and appreciate the importance in life.
    My father dies when he was 65 and my mother’s death left a void in my heart.
    I do know that her legacy lives on in her family. A journal would be a reflection of her life.

  37. I remember reading a diary my mother had before she got married. I saw it years ago and have no idea what happened to it. This post reminded me that my sister had given both mom and dad books to write memories in them. Not sure what happened to moms (hmmmm again!) , but when my sister passed, I found the “book” she had given to dad to write in. He didn’t fill out a single page. So, I grabbed the book and thought I could give it to my husband to fill out for our boys. I just went out to the drawer and pulled it out, gave it to hubby, and told him to start writing. lol Thanks for reminding me.
    The diary of my mom that I had found in an old trunk was written in 1941. The one thing I recall being written was that she was picking cherries the morning of her wedding. My parents got married June 21, 1941. Her sister also got married the same day. Don’t think either wedding had guests there.
    Thanks for making my memories start stirring!

  38. Shanna, very sorry on the recent loss of your Mother. She left a special gift on the book shelf for you to find. This has brought to mind a similar situation with my step Dad who was fighting cancer. My Mom gave him a tape recorder and he would leave little messages and stores for us to remember. Due to the pain he would wander the house at night instead of sleeping. He always had a great story to tell. Thank you for sharing how your parents shared their early childhood memories and special moments as a couple using the journal. Would love to do the same things with my parents also. Appreciate the post very much.

  39. Your story reminded me of my parents only it was my mother who filled out hers and my father who would not do it, even though he told plenty of stories when I was a child about his travels around America starting at age 14.
    I bought a book for me to fill out and have not done it but will do it now. Thanks for the reminder on how our loved ones will be happy to hear more about us whether we are living or not.

  40. I bought something similar to this for my grandparents years ago. My grandpa passed away last year and I got my books back. They put original photos in there from their wedding, in 1946. It is one of my favorite things from them. I’m scanning in the pages as I’m the oldest of 21 grandchildren and I think they all need a digital copy.

  41. Oh wow what a beautiful giveaway. I’ve lost my father but he was a writer, so I’m hoping when I get the strength to go through his things I’ll find some treasures in his writings. I’ve also lost my youngest son’s father who I raised all of my kids with. So I know all too well how hard it is to have unanswered questions. This would be perfect for our family.

    1. So, so very sorry for your loss, Cindi. Hugs to you and hoping you find some precious memories he left behind.

  42. Oh wow, what a beautiful idea.. I miss my dad everyday and his stories, I honestly would’ve love to do this with him.. I will be doing one with my husband for my children.. Many thanks

  43. Hi Shanna! Although my parents have gone home, this would be a wonderful gift. I keep telling my friends that they need to write their memoirs down. So many younger generations have no idea what we went through and their heritage is. History is dying and I think it’s important to keep it alive. I wish I had more knowledge of my parents lives, but I want to give that to my children and grandchildren. Thank you for the opportunity!

  44. That is such an amazing story, likely your Mum planned it that way. My mum was raised to not question things so to talk about the past wasn’t something she was willing to do, but she is loosening up in the last few years.

  45. I would love to do this for my granddaughters. They always want me to tell them stories about when their Dads were little.

  46. When I was in 6th grade, we had to do a genealogy assignment. This was before the dotcoms with information. My parents wrote out some of their stories for me so I could write the report, plus I had to do a family tree. I’m lucky to have a lot of this information from them.

    The other night, my 21yo son, the middle one, and I talked for hours on a bunch of subjects. It was a special time.

  47. I just lost my mom on May 16. I wish she would’ve left me a journal. So now I am going to make a scrap book and of cards she sent me over the years. She lived in Pennsylvania and I live in Ohio. I want to start a journal to give to my son. About my childhood and years in Pennsylvania growing up. For him to have after I’m gone.

    1. I am so, so sorry for your loss, Linda. My condolences to you and your family. That would be lovely to make a scrap book from the cards she’s sent you. And I’m sure your son would be so grateful if you record your memories in a journal. Again, my sympathy to you for your loss. Hugs!

  48. This is an awesome idea. I have recorded the stories of my hubby and myself for our sons, but they are typed and I find the idea of hand written a real treasure. I’m so happy that your mother relented and left you a gift beyond measure.

  49. I have a book my grandma filled out with her memories..from when I was a teenager. I treasure it forever and would love to leave the same behind.

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