Your Handwriting- why you should be using it on your projects! | The Flamingo Chronicals: Your Handwriting- why you should be using it on your projects!

Your Handwriting- why you should be using it on your projects!

Hi blogging buddies!

Today I want to share a story with you. 
Every time I teach a class I hear ---
"I don't like my handwriting"
"My handwriting is ugly and messy"
"It is too hard to write by hand to journal, I would rather
use a computer"

I am hear to tell you there is a very good reason why you should 
be putting your OWN handwriting down on your projects.

Here is my story. 
If you are a crier, get your tissue out now.
For some reason, everytime I tell this story people end up bawling- including me. 

This is my Grandmother, Gussie, and my two babies, way back in 1994!
Gussie was the light of my life. When the Hubs retired in late 1994, we
moved back to Texas and bought a house 5 minutes down the road from Gussie
so that I could always be near her. 

My girls were so blessed to get to spend so much time with their 
Great Grandmother while they were growing up. 

Gussie was there for all the big days, and the little days, of our lives.

In about 2000, Gussie developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. It barely slowed her down. 
Keeping up with DR's visits and medications at 85 was a little much,
so I pitched in to help out.

As time went on, I helped out a little more, and a little more. 
Grocery shopping, house cleaning, making sure she ate, - all those 
little things to make sure that she was able to live comfortably in her own house.
I really enjoyed the time I was able to spend with her- it means so much
to me that I was able to enjoy every minute that I could with her.

In August 2009 Gussie had a seizure and spent her first night in the hospital
in her entire life- at the age of 93. After a few days in the hospital, she was transfered
to a rehab center, and from there to a nursing home. 

For 11 months I went every single day to the nursing home to spend time 
with her and to make sure she ate. Everyday when I walked in the door her
 face would light up and she would say "There's my girl!". She told me almost every week that she
was "ready to go home to her God, anytime he wanted to call her". 
She was just waiting on her body to give out. She wasn't really sick in any way,
she was just tired. Tired of living and ready to go home.

 Here is my layout of the last Christmas that we shared in 2009.

Of course, being the contrary person that she was, she waited until she knew
I would be out of town for 2 days to die. She had already told me she 
didn't want me there when she passed away. 
She wanted to go quietly, alone, in the arms of God. 
I really didn't want to go to retreat.
 Everyone told me to go- I was only an hour away after all.
I stopped on the way out of town to see her and to tell her I loved her. 
Two mornings later I got the call- she had passed away peacefully in her sleep. 
Exactly like she wanted. 

Of course, there was the funeral to get through, and then the estate to settle.
It took us almost a year to sell her house. In that year, we all took little
 things from her house that meant something to us. I had been in and out of 
that house I don't know how many times doing maintenance, 
packing things up, getting ready for the sale, etc. 

On the last day before the sale, as I stood in her kitchen one last time
to let those memories sink in, I opened a drawer 
I had opened a hundred times. I moved a few papers and found 
something that made my heart stop. 
In the bottom of that drawer was a pile of recipes, collected over
countless years, written in Gussie's own hand.
She wrote recipes on scraps of paper, the backs of envelopes, 
the back of a water bill, little tiny note pads- she was a child of
the Great Depression, she wasted nothing!

Now, for all of you who say your handwriting is ugly, messy, or bad, 
take a look at this,,,

Do you see this chicken scratch??? And she wrote this before the arthritis made her 
hands curl up, and old age made her hands shake. This was her GOOD penmanship!
 I defy any of you to tell me that your handwriting is worse than what you see 
right here. Gussie's writing was barely legible most of the time.

But let me tell you something;
I sat on the floor of my grandmother's kitchen
 and cried, big sobbing tears like a little girl, over these scraps of paper 
covered in that horrible, ugly, handwriting.

These pieces of paper are some of my most precious possessions.
They are priceless beyond compare.
I can look through these papers and see my Gussie's life in that writing.
I can tell the ones she wrote earlier in life. I can tell which ones
she wrote after she started shaking. I can tell which ones she wrote
after she stopped cooking- they have missing ingredients!

So here's the deal...

You need to put your handwriting down on paper because
sometime, somewhere, there will be someone who will be
grateful that you did.

You need to put your handwriting down on paper because 
computer journaling does not portray you. That printed font can never
portray your life like pen and ink.

You need to put your handwriting down on paper because
one day you will be gone and the love ones that you leave behind
will be looking for personal ways to connect with you.

But most importantly, you need to put your handwriting down on paper because
that little piece of you that is left behind will mean the world
to someone- and let me tell you that they will not give one damn that your
handwriting is not perfect. 

Just write it down.

Please share this with your crafty friends.
 Some schools are not even teaching cursive writing any longer
and that is a real shame. 
Journaling by hand is such an important part of 
memory keeping- we need to make sure that it continues. 


  1. I love this! And how wonderful that you found them and have them!!!

  2. Thank you, Anita, for sharing this story. It's sad and wonderful same time. My eyes are wet.

  3. How sweet Anita - and true. My Mum to this day would rather have a hand-written note from me than an email! Though the email is instant and doesn't take a week to get there! You should make a scrap page of a couple of these recipes. Maybe you have a photo of your girls baking in the kitchen with her?

  4. Anita, so true and beautifully written. Love the story you shared!!! Great memories. Love the layout and I am sure you have many other beautiful ones with Gussy!!!

  5. Yes, you have me in tears! So beautiful that you and your girls had such a wonderful relationship with Gussie. (I never knew my grandmothers as they passed away when I was very young). Thank you for sharing your story.
    I tell people in my classes that I treasure the letters with my mother's handwriting on it. I also suggest for them to put their journalling in a hidden pocket, or on the back of the layout, if they really hate their writing that much.

  6. thank you for sharing, Anita! Very sweet - and yes, my Mom's handwriting, and my grandmother's both declined, as mine has for the past few decades. I can barely hold a pen anymore! Printing is good in many ways because some schools no longer teach cursive! Yikes! hugs, de

  7. Beautiful story! And to think that they are NOT teaching cursive in some schools now. What a shame. Thanks for sharing.

  8. wow, what an awesome story to share with us, and yes I teared up at the end!! You put into words what I feel about handwriting and how important it is to use it. Thank you Anita, you are awesome, like Gussie!

  9. I love this !!!! It is so true , and I I cried when I read this !! It is so beautiful and true !!!


  10. OMG Anita, you were right, Niagra Falls! What a beautiful story and so well written. Thanks for the reminder! What an amazing lady she obviously was! Hugs!

  11. Oh I forgot to say, your layout is beautiful!

  12. Tissue alert is right! But this is oh so true! I treasured those cards and letters I have my grandparents and my mom and dad. They mean the world to me. Thanks for this much needed reminder!

  13. that is so true. I have hardly any reminders of my dad and hardly any handwritten documents, he had this very personal way of writing and it makes me very sad that there is hardly nothig there to look at now... I try to journal by hand, even it is not always tons of text, but its there. totally agree with you.

  14. There could not be a more personal or truer post than this one. I've lost a few very important people in my life and you hit the nail bang on the head when you say you look for any way to connect with them once they're gone. I too gravitated towards their written words and treasure those pieces I have. I too am an advocate of using your own handwriting in your journals. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. :) <3

  15. This is a fabulous story! So glad you shared it and I agree 100%. Your grandmother's handwriting looks just like my grandmother's and the only things left that I have of her handwriting is some old recipes. Someday I'm going to make an album just of these recipes.

  16. Anita this is absolutely so true. Our handwriting is part of who we are and as you say just seeing a scrap, a note brings so much rushing back.
    I thought you might enjoy seeing a make and a post from 2011. B Has moved and the picture was one of the first things he put up.
    I look forward to continuing our blog chats.