We received a very kind message from Mr Timothy Short.
I discovered LifeBook one day purely by chance when scanning the internet back in 2014, and I recall thinking to myself what an excellent idea it was as we all have a story to tell. The primary reason for my thinking was that my late father had been a relatively shy man who rarely discussed much of his life in any detail, despite his many achievements and that he had much to be proud of. Sadly, he passed away many years ago and I was never able to elicit or assemble sufficient information in any form that would provide a viable history.
Maybe my grandchildren would find some of it interesting
I stored this thought for about a year and, one day, I reflected on the issue and thought to myself, ‘I’ve had a pretty interesting and varied life with all sorts of experiences, some good, some bad and a few indifferent. Maybe my grandchildren would find some of it interesting, so why not seriously consider getting everything written down before I actually forget the events that have shaped my life or when my time actually comes to an end?’
A few days after each interview I would receive a draft of what we had discussed
Anyway, late in 2015 I got in touch with LifeBook and began the process. My interviewer was a lovely lady, who was very helpful and from the outset gave me some ideas on how to discipline my thoughts and recollections in some sort of order to gain maximum productivity from each of the subsequent recorded interviews. A few days after each interview I would receive a draft of what we had discussed, and I would edit this in the way that I wanted my story to read, so I always felt that I had editorial control.
The one thing I had been aware of since I was a teenager was the fact that, as a very young baby, I had been adopted but as any detail beyond that point was not encouraged or discussed, I eventually gave up trying! It was not until my father’s death, when going through his effects, that I discovered my adoption certificate and subsequently the name of my birth mother. I did a little more research at the time but then lost interest and left the subject alone for more than 10 years, although these outline facts were discussed and recorded in one of the early interviews.
It was after the book was published that I contacted one of my in-laws
It was after the book was published that I contacted one of my in-laws who had read it and was particularly interested in the early part of my book that covered my adoption. As his hobby was genealogy, he asked if I minded him doing some research following up the limited information in my book and, naturally, I agreed.
What he was to come up with was quite incredible, producing a family tree going back several generations and with me eventually contacting a cousin and introducing myself to her. This, of course, was done very sensitively for obvious reasons and fortunately it transpired that this lady was equally interested and was keen to learn more. My researcher acted as an intermediary and we were subsequently introduced by email.
Over the period of the following three months, we exchanged many emails with attached images and I was able to see, for the very first time, photographs of my birth mother, which for me was an emotional roller-coaster. During this period, we were also able to chat on the telephone to fill the gaps where necessary. The only sad element of all this was that had I followed up my initial research some 15 years before, my birth mother was at that time still alive and one may only speculate as to how that connection may have developed?
My newly-discovered cousin once again very sensitively contacted three of my half-siblings
My newly-discovered cousin once again very sensitively contacted three of my half-siblings, who fortunately for me were equally keen to contact me. The most extraordinary element of the whole saga was at that point, no one in the family was even aware of my existence, even though my birth mother was one of five sisters. Somehow, I had been kept as a family secret!
The upshot of this was that we all agreed to meet for the very first time at a mutually convenient venue to enjoy a weekend together. To achieve this was clearly a terrific result and at the age of a few months shy of 70, I have discovered a whole new family!
I hold LifeBook largely responsible for this amazing achievement
I hold LifeBook largely responsible for this amazing achievement, initially for stimulating my interest in events that occurred many years ago and, allied with the enthusiasm of my researcher, having led me to discovering a family I knew nothing of and had despaired of ever discovering. This revelation has radically changed my life for the better. I cannot praise LifeBook enough and I would absolutely recommend their services to anyone – and if my experience is anything to go by, you never know where it might lead.