ORLANDO — Family memories can be like the special guest who arrives for dinner and then charms everyone at the table. It can be irresistible sometimes to go back to those moments that helped define who the family is, how they became who they are as a unit.
Often times, their children or grandchildren come to embrace those memories, even if they weren’t alive when these special moments occurred, and they get passed down from one generation to the next.
But how often does the family go that extra step — and put that family history down on paper, to be permanently preserved?
It’s an idea that was embraced by Michael Laderman, who understood that we all have stories to tell, and preserving them can become a treasured gift for future members of the family. That’s why he founded Share My Story, a unique service that uses professional writers to help families preserve the history they cherish the most. As Share My Story notes on its website, “After all, you have a story to tell. We have the words.”
What Does Share My Story Document?
As Michael noted, a family’s folklore can truly be any moment in time: several years building up to a special event, a truly remarkable turn of events that occurs in a matter of minutes. Anything that helps set a family on its chosen path and helped define who they are is a Share My Story moment.
And Michael and his professional writers capture whichever memories are most important to a family, and record it for them, putting it on paper in narrative form. It’s now their story, fully documented.
And those memories can now be passed on from generation to generation.
Often it’s grown children or grandchildren who request the services of the Share My Story writers, because they want to record memories that their parents or grandparents have shared with them over the years.
Freeline Productions, which has written family memories for Share My Story, reached out to Michael Laderman to learn more about how this service got created, and where it’s headed in the future.
Meet Michael Laderman: The Interview
Freeline Productions: Tell us what Share My Story is, and what it does.
Michael Laderman: Thank you for the opportunity to share our story! In its simplest explanation, Share My Story is both a service and product that ensures our personal and professional life stories and legacies are written, told, and shared to and with our family, friends, colleagues, clients, and caregivers. It is the only such company in the nation that one, uses a team of professional newspaper and magazine reporters to write magazine-length features, and then two, designs the stories specifically sized to be framed and proudly displayed in home and office, as well as designed to be shared on web and social media sites.
FP: How did you come up with the idea of starting this business? What was your inspiration?
ML: We began this company in 2016, with my father-in-law as the inspiration for it. Those who know my wife’s dad know a little bit of his story, of how he came to live with his disabilities for almost three decades now. They know he was once one of Florida’s top attorneys, and, before that, a young man who excelled at music and acting. But they don’t know the stories behind him, the stories of what took place when singing, when acting, when working.
So on this one specific day a few years ago, it hit me. He has all these stories to tell, of so many successes in his life, and no one knows the true details of them. Not his friends, not his family, and not even those who care for him at the assisted living facility he lives. No one.
And then I realized: It’s not just him, and of how no one knows the true story of the case he fought at the Supreme Court of the United States. It’s all the other residents who live with him, each having lived amazing lives, but, in their assisted living facility, just living to pass time, no one knowing their true stories.
It’s his friend and roommate, and how no one knows that he flew F14’s and F15’s over Vietnam. And it’s the doctor who takes care of him, how no one knows that he wasn’t always just a doctor, but changed careers 20 years ago so he could help people. And it’s the staff person, how no one knows that they developed a product that will be used at facilities nationwide to help people with disabilities. It’s the administrator, how no one knows that they turned to healthcare because of a loved one’s passing many years ago. It’s all of us.
In my opinion, something needed to be done to give people — of any age, young and old — an opportunity to tell and share their story.
Thanks to that one day, that one simple moment in time, that one thought while visiting my wife’s father, I have created and developed “Share My Story” — a business whose sole purpose is to write and tell your story, whatever it may be, while sharing, preserving, and passing on those respective memories and moments in time to your friends and family.
FP: What are the demographics that Share My Story appeals to?
ML: Share My Story has numerous demographics. Our clientele includes seniors, veterans, newlyweds, elder couples, small business, large businesses, and families. Honestly, everybody has a story to tell — whether you have a personal story to share, or a professional one. We help families know their relatives better, and we help businesses, through our stories about them, market themselves to current and potential clients.
FP: Since the original conception, have you expanded the concept or moved in any new directions?
ML: The initial concept was to just write and design the stories of seniors and veterans, to celebrate their lives while they are alive, so that their legacies would live on forever. Quickly, though, when people saw our services and products, we were asked to do more.
Now, we are hired not only by families and senior and assisted living communities to write the stories of our seniors and veterans, but also by businesses small and large to help them promote their business. And we offer different products, too, to be able to do that, beyond our standard design.
Thus, our demographics are people of any age, any race, any religion, any background. Everybody has a story to tell. We have the words.
FP: Now tell us more about … Michael Laderman. What’s he all about? What does he like? What are his favorite books, movies, and foods?
ML: A little bit about me: I enjoy time with my best friend — my wife, Alyson — whether it is spent relaxing together in the peace and quiet on our back patio, facing the Wekiva Springs, or sitting alongside 80,000 fellow Clemson Tiger fans in Death Valley when we travel to South Carolina.
I am someone who, for the first time in my life, has an actual reason for going to work each day. Not just to earn a paycheck, but to actually be able to give back to people — in the case of Share My Story, specifically, to seniors and veterans, through the creation of our non-profit, The Share My Story Foundation.
I enjoy movies that tell stories, that are creative, and that make you think. I enjoy comedy clubs, modern musicals, and 80s & 90s rock. And I enjoy silence. To say I am a little bit of a lot would be an understatement!
The writers at Share My Story are available to document your most cherished memories. Contact them today.
To learn more about the services available at Share My Story, call 407-917-2026
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Of Cats And Wolves.” Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.