Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Living Memories Project Book Review & Tour

Title: The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last
Authors: Meryl Ain, Stewart Ain, & Arthur M. Fischman
Publisher: Little Miami Publishing
Pages: 196
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Paperback

Three years after the death of her mother, Meryl Ain was still unable to fill the hole that the loss had left in her life.  In talking to friends, Meryl discovered an insight shared by those who had successfully overcome grief; there simply is no closure.  It was a breakthrough for her. She writes, “Our loved ones will always be with us if they are not forgotten. It is up to us to integrate them into our lives in a positive way that reflects their unique personality, values and spirituality. In that way we keep them alive in our hearts and minds always.”

Meryl enlisted the help of her brother, Arthur Fischman, and her husband, Stewart Ain, and began a quest to interview people who had moved beyond mourning through meaningful action. The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last by Meryl Ain, Ed.D., Arthur M. Fischman, & Stewart Ain (March 2014, Little Miami Publishing Company, Trade Paperback, 196 pages, $18.95, ISBN:978-0-9882553-7-1) is a result of that research.

The Living Memories Project presents more than 30 interviews with both celebrities and others who share their experiences and the projects they undertook to memorialize their loved ones. The authors have sought to demonstrate that any tribute, big or small, can be a meaningful way to preserve memories of loved ones. Establishing a foundation or scholarship, using a recipe on a particular holiday or family occasion, creating artwork, embarking on a project or even an entire career – all could be traced to a specific talent, interest or value of the deceased.  Each chapter offers a rich first-person history that will engage and inspire readers of all faiths.
Among them are:
  • Linda Ruth Tosetti, who made a documentary film about her grandfather, Babe Ruth, to highlight his humanitarian side – a value she cherished and believed was often overlooked in Babe’s biography. Ruth was a German-American, who publicly denounced the Nazi persecution of the Jews in 1942.
  • Liz and Steve Alderman, who established the Peter C. Alderman Foundation to honor the memory of their 25-year-old son, who was killed on 9/11 at the World Trade Center. The foundation trains doctors and establishes mental health clinics on four continents to treat PTSD.
  • Eileen Belmont, a quilt designer who helps others preserve their memories of deceased loved ones through the creation of memory quilts.
  • Singer/songwriter Jen Chapin (daughter of the late folk rock icon Harry Chapin), who carries on her father’s legacy of music and feeding the hungry.
  • Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma (sister of Yo-Yo Ma), who keeps the memory of her father and music teacher /mentor alive through the Children’s Orchestra Society and her poetry.
  • Robert Meeropol (son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed as spies by the US Government in 1953), who established the Rosenberg Fund for Children to help children whose parents are imprisoned.
  • Author, actor and raconteur Malachy McCourt, who presents his unique take on how he keeps alive the memory of his brother Frank (Angela’s Ashes) through the Irish tradition of song and story.
Not everyone can create a foundation, fund an orchestra or make a documentary film, but the authors’ hope is that readers will find inspiration from the wide range of actions they read about. The authors are currently compiling narratives for the second volume of The Living Memories Project and welcome input from readers.
My Review:
As I read this book, I got to thinking of the many wonderful memories we all have, such as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, children, husbands, wives and best friends. Reading this book will awaken your thoughts of memories to cherish that you have had with the many people who have crossed your path.  
I think it's a huge responsibility to try and pass on our memories to each other, especially our children and grandchildren, so that they will be kept alive and be remembered. With all of the things going on around us lately, family and friends is so crucial to our lives. Bad things can easily overtake the good if we let them. Hold on to your good memories if you can because you will cherish them the older you get.
About the Authors:
Meryl Ain holds a BA from Queens College, a MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She began her career in education as a social studies teacher before she became an administrator.
She is also a freelance writer specializing in issues related to education, families, parenting, and children and has contributed to Huffington Post, Newsday, the New York Jewish Week and The New York Times. She embarked on The Living Memories Project after she lost both her father and mother within a year-and-a-half. She and her husband Stewart live on Long Island and have three sons, three daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.
Arthur M. Fischman holds a BA from Queens College and a JD from Temple Law School.  He is a freelance writer whose video and interactive scripts have won numerous awards, including a Telly, an ITVA Silver Award, and a New York Festivals Bronze World Medal. He co-wrote the award-winning documentary Digital Dharma and has written radio, TV, and print ads for leading consumer product manufacturers.  
Arthur is a veteran speechwriter and ghostwriter, and was director of executive communications and internal communications for a Fortune 500 company. He, his wife, and their two daughters live in Philadelphia, where he also writes plays and moonlights as a jazz pianist.
Stewart Ain is a graduate of CW Post College and holds a MA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is an award-winning journalist with more than 40 years of experience, and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee three times. He has reported for The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Jewish Week, Long Island Business News and Lifestyles Magazine.
Stewart frequently appears on television and radio, and hosts his own weekly cable TV program, Jewish Life, and has been a regular guest on The Leon Charney Show.   Both his parents died while he was working on The Living Memories Project.
Their latest book is the nonfiction, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last.
Visit their website at www.thelivingmemoriesproject.com

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.