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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Walk of Your Life

I'm reminded of three movies each about an emotional distant family at a time of loss. A mother, wife or grandparent that recently passed away. What brought each family back together and helped them to heal? A walk. Not just any walk. This was a walk of their lives. Each story consisted of a walk with a hometown map in hand, specific locations marked on the map,  a written story about a family members activity on location and a walking from one spot to the other.

One of these stories had to do with a family emotionally displaced after the loss of their mother. In a desperate attempt to connect they did something rather odd. They bought a zoo. Learning to work together they found a way to mend their lives and recover by trying to finding their place in the new life they chose. Finally the children of this young family are brought full circle as they walk through a restaurant and hear a touching story of how their father and now mother met and fell in love. 

Guided Tour

The walk of life gives kids who experienced loss a chance to connect or reconnect with family in a way they may never have. It's an opportunity to merge the present with the past and explain how the relationship of their parents or grandparents came to be. It helps them draw closer to that person by hearing their story brought to life in a way they never before experienced.  A family history full of discovery, felicity and love. 

The Walk of Your Life

This walk of your life may be in the form of a guided tour of the places in town that touched the lives of the family in very special ways. Perhaps a walk that presents the weekly routine of the life of the grandparents or parents in the family. Using a map find all the spots you or your parents frequented. Next locate the one spot they met. Now locate fond places they liked to frequent and things they did while there. 

Tell The Story

Tell a story about a specific experience that occurred that helps define that moment in time. The atmosphere, feelings and nostalgia of the times spent there. How the relationship ascended to the next level.

Map The Course

Draw lines connecting each spot together progressively as the relationship advances from acquaintance to friendship to companionship to partnership and commitment.

On Location

Enter the store, parlor or office. Explain what took place there and how that experience defined the course their lives.  Perhaps it was a book store or mom and pop shop with the best pizza in town. A table in the corner where mom was asked out on the first date. A photo booth where dad and mom took their first silly photo together. A water fountain where mom and dad sat, talked and fell in love. The place they were wed. The first apartment they lived in. The window of a room in the house in which the children were conceived and so on. 

The walk of your life can conclude with dinner at a family restaurant that may one day be a part of the map the kids will make when they take their children on the walk of their lives.

Planning a family reunion? To get  more information about Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app click on the link on this blog page or access the profiles page.

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