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Class helping Boca Raton senior citizens write their own memoir for their families

Posted at 8:16 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 08:16:16-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Gail Swarz lives at the Sinai Residences in Boca Raton, a senior living community. She’s enrolled in a new class all about preserving the past through your own story. It’s called, “My Life, My Way: Writing Your Life story.”

“I would like my children and grandchildren to remember me, and this would be something, not just what they have seen or heard, but something in a tangible form,” she said. “I want them to remember me as a happy person, who accomplished much more than I ever hoped to accomplish, and knowing there were still more good things to come even at this age.”

Her story is one of a school teacher, a wife, a mother, and grandmother. She was also a law student in her 40’s.

Holly Budney, Sinai Residences’ life enrichment director said the course idea stemmed from the past 18 month.

“One of the results of being in isolation was the need for residents to express themselves creatively,” she said.

The pandemic presented power in the written word for these seniors.

“We know how fleeting life is,” said Budney. “We know that we have to take advantage of every opportunity for generations to know who we all are.”

That’s where poetry, stories, and these memoirs were born from.

“Just the idea of the written word,” said Budney.

It’s also a gift for these seniors and their families.

“It was heartbreaking to me and made me smile at the same time thinking back on my life,” said Swartz.

The hope is that these memoirs will then turn into recorded monologues, a piece of history kept forever.