An overflowing river roars through your ranch, sweeping away your possessions. A twisting tornado blows into your bungalow, scattering and smashing your belongings. An earthquake rumbles beneath your two-flat until all of your worldly goods come crashing to the ground. A fire, a hurricane—it takes just one natural disaster to break your heart. Your home videos are ruined. The artifact you brought home from a trip is in a million pieces. The jewelry with sentimental value is bent beyond recognition. Your treasured photographs, diary and birthday cards are now soaking wet, ripped to shreds or missing altogether.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gets it. Surveying his state’s flood damage the other day, he worried out loud that people could lose property—“and their memories.??? Your home insurance may cover the expense of replacing a flooded car or crushed computer, but no insurance policy in the world can guard against heartbreak from losing your memories.
What there is, however, is your memoir. Preserving your memories in a permanent way—digitally online so that you can always publish them into a book if you choose—is an insurance policy in a way, ensuring that you’ll always have your words that express your feelings about what everything has meant to you. Include photos in your memoir so that you retain them. Write from your heart about your travels and the people you love. You never know when wind, water, fire or earth may threaten to claim your memories.