Sharing Your Story

Easily Recording and Preserving Your Memories

Above is recorded with the Voice Memos App on an iPhone. See video below to see the “How to” steps.

Write to Sheila at sheila.ouruntoldstories[at] to learn more about recording memories, preserving your legacy, sharing with your loved ones.  Do it yourself, or get support.

• • • • • • • • • •

Click/Tap on the triangle top left to see How to Record on the iPhone Using the Voice Memos app that comes already installed on your iPhone and Upload the Recording to DropBox

To watch the above video full screen on a computer, put your mouse in the video window. Then click on the icon, or YouTube, in lower right corner. To get out of full screen use “escape” in upper left of your keyboard.

I am in the process now of creating a series of tutorials showing how you can use the iMovie App on your iPhone (or similar Android Apps) to create videos from Voice Memos recordings. Adding a photo will have it act as a video that can be uploaded to YouTube.

An example tutorial, which I will be simplifying even more can be seen below:

The video created is:

To learn how to make and turn your audio recordings on the iPhone (or Android phones) into videos you can upload to iTunes, write to Sheila at sheila.ouruntoldstories [at]  Also you may email to learn more about recording memories, preserving your legacy, sharing with your loved ones.  Do it yourself, or get support.
or book a complimentary exploratory session by emailing
sheila.ouruntoldstories [at]

A Bump in the Road – Redirection

As I follow what my grandson Ryan Finkelstein has been doing in his developing writing and sports journalism career, I’m reminded of an essay he wrote 5 years ago. What  he is doing now is also a reminder of how a passion can last and be redirected, sometimes growing even stronger. 

Starting, even before he was 9 years old, Ryan dreamed of being a baseball player.

And he never got close to it as you’ll read in his essay below.  Written in response to a college application question:

“Describe a bump in the road in your academic or personal life.”

I was highly moved by the depths of what then 18-year old Ryan wrote, as well as the maturity of his writing. With his permission, I shared it on another blog at the time it was written in 2013.

If I never lost everything that I was, I never would have become who I am today, and the most important thing I have learned is to have faith and work hard and everything will work itself out.” (His concluding statement in the essay that follows.)

“The first sixteen years of my life were devoted to one thing and one thing only, baseball.

I was very much the same kid at sixteen as I had been my entire life, very simple and naïve. Not naïve in a bad way but so consumed by my passion that I hadn’t done that much growing up.

That all changed the Spring of my sophomore year. I had recently gotten my first job working at a fast-food restaurant and was starting to be opened up to the real world. Balancing a job, school, and baseball was going to be nearly impossible but I was preparing to face the challenge until my world was flipped upside down when I didn’t make the team.

I had spent nearly two years as a part of my high school baseball team and all of a sudden my entire identity at my school was erased. It was probably the hardest experience of my life only because I was in uncharted waters for the first time in my life.

I realized that some of my friendships were fake and superficial and once I was off the team my old friends almost disappeared. So I had to turn to the only new thing in my life and that was my work. Working for the restaurant was the greatest learning experience of my life, mostly because of the age I was at the time and the personal growth I went through. A job will mature you faster than you can ever expect.

First you start to have to meet a lot of people. Which was almost surprisingly new to me because although I have always met a lot of kids in school I had never really met people who were too different from me. All of sudden I have friends who are 10, 20, even 30 years older than I and I’m just this young kid.

The job taught me responsibility. I learned how to manage my money, and it really just gave me a completely different perspective on life in general. I am cognizant of the world around me and much more self confident than I have ever been.

I find myself saying “yes” to new opportunities more and I want to have new experiences and see things that I have never seen before.  Overall it is the self confidence that the job gave me that makes most ready to tackle college and influence the UCF community.

This self confidence leaves me feeling more mature than ever and as I sit in the same classrooms I can’t help but feel that I have now out grown high school. I have been everywhere I could want to go, met everyone I would want to meet, and I am eagerly anticipating my newest adventures.

If I never lost everything that I was, I never would have become who I am today, and the most important thing I have learned is to have faith and work hard and everything will work itself out.”
© 2013 Ryan Finkelstein

To see how Ryan now expresses his passion for baseball and other sports, visit his site –

Stories to Record – Suggestions

If you are looking for some additional suggested questions you might ask, check back on this page on Tuesday, November 20th, or email Sheila (Link below) with the request and you will get the list as soon as it is ready.

Following are some the happenings that offer opportunities for recording and sharing personal and family stories. One of my biggest regrets is that I never thought to ask my beloved Sam specific questions and record the answers.  Not only did I not have the sound of his voice, I have none of his stories/legacy to pass on.  

In addition to recording for memories, I invite to to audio and video record for the fun of it.

Creating stories –
     Fiction or non-fiction for grandchildren

     Teaching/sharing some of your specialties

Family Occasions – Holidays, birthdays, weddings and…. For people who are present and for those who could not be there.
Family History
     Telling your own story
     Interviewing important people in your life who can’t record themselves
          Example: My brother-in-law Dan was scheduled for a    surgery the
 doctors were giving him a 25% chance of survival.  On a visit with him (I flew in from Florida to Philadelphia) and a couple of days before surgery, I did short audio recordings…
       “What did he most appreciate about… (and went down the list of each of his children and grandchildren)…separate recordings for each one given only to that family member… up to them to share with others if they wished.
      “What were some of his memories of highlights of his life.”

I recommend individual recordings for each story.
If you have any questions, please email me at:
sheila.ouruntoldstories [at]
 I’d also be happy to book a complimentary exploratory session with you to answer your questions.

Tribute to Poppy

Tribute to Poppy
by Ryan Finkelstein

Portrait of Sam FinkelsteinWhen one sees a photograph of a loved one that they lost, they usually are overcome by certain emotions. Love for that person, feelings of admiration for what that person meant to you, memories that were shared, or just simply the personality that the individual had.

When I look at old photos of my Poppy (grandfather), these feelings are present but they are also overshadowed by darker feelings that will always persist. I feel disappointment that I had to watch a man deteriorate over time due to a disease that is not fair. I feel some guilt that I did not try harder, despite my young age, to have the patience to get to know him better, and learn the nuances of his personality that I will never get to understand firsthand.

Finally, I wish that he was still here now so that I could get the relationship with a grandfather that has been absent for many years of my life. My Poppy suffered from Parkinson’s disease and while his death was not due to his disease, it was a major contributing factor, and his disease shaped the relationship that I had with him.

I come from a great line of men, who were raised by great men. They have passed the tradition down of father to son generation by generation, each father one day becoming a Poppy. My Dad is the best person I know. He has a kind heart, a great sense of humor, and will be a friend to anyone in need. My Dad, along with my Mom, have given me and my sister everything we have ever wanted even when what we wanted was beyond the means of what they could provide. I mention this because my Dad never lets me forget that he is the man he is today, and more importantly the father he is today, because of his father, my Poppy.

I   am not writing this to disparage the years I got to spend with my Poppy or the memories that we shared. I remember very fondly the weekends that my sister and I spent at my grandparents’ house. We would watch sunrise at the beach, and walk the trails at nature preserves. I learned about both of my grandparents’ affinity for photography, and while I never quite caught the bug, I have been known to spot a good picture when I see one. Most importantly I will never forget that while I was playing travel baseball during those years, my Grandmom and Poppy rarely missed a game. I truly cherish all the times we got to spend together, but as time goes on and I reflect, it is hard not to think about what life could have been like if Parkinson’s were not present in my Poppy.

When my Poppy got sick and we all knew that it was time to let go I was presented with a choice. My Mom asked if I wanted to go to the hospital to say goodbye. At the time, I chose not to go because I wasn’t mature enough to put my Poppy before myself. I did not want to see him hooked up to all those machines, and watch him struggle to take his last breaths. Did he miss my presence that day? That is something I will never truly know. If I could go back would I do it differently? Again, I don’t know. I think the right thing to do would’ve been to be there, but I also am glad that I was not there for the scene that my sister described to me later that night, of them shutting off the machines and watching him go.

The night that my Poppy died I remember spending the night in bed with my sister. It is hardships like that where it is great to have an older sibling to lean on. Later that week when we had the service for his funeral I was struck by emotions that I was not expecting going into that event. As I sat there holding back tears, I listened to all the people that loved my Poppy eulogize him. It was through those words of praise that I began to see a much different picture of the man that my grandfather was, who I never fully got to meet.

He was a man with a quick wit and great sense of humor, and while I experienced flashes of that, the Parkinson’s that slowed his speech made this harder to see. As the service went on, as I heard many stories of my Poppy, I grew more agitated by the fact that Parkinson’s took parts of that man away from me before I could realize them. None of this can discount the love that I felt for my Poppy, and the time we got to spend together was priceless, but it is not fair to me that families should go through the pain that is inflicted by this horrible disease.

When I look at my life I can’t help but thank my Poppy for what he provided me with. His wife, my Grandmom, has always been there for me and she has believed in me at times where I don’t even know if I believed in myself. My Dad is my best friend, my mentor, and along with my Mom, the person I lean on most in life. I can also thank him for my Uncle who has been a great friend to me as we have shared many great times together. These people are the pillars of the incredible family that I am blessed with today and they were shaped by the influence that my Poppy had on their lives. I am a culmination of that influence.

I share this message today for anyone who is going through Parkinson’s or has a close family member or friend going through Parkinson’s. Maybe if my experience can get into the right places, which I am sure my Grandmom will take care of, then it can bring awareness about Parkinson’s and the research that needs to be done to find a cure to this awful disease.

I will end this message by speaking to my Poppy.

“I love you and I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. You mean more to me than you will ever know.”

© 2017 Ryan Finkelstein

Editor’s Note: Ryan was 12 years old at the time of his Beloved Poppy’s death. This tribute was written a week before his 22nd birthday.

For further information or permission to share, contact Sheila Finkelstein – – (561) 536-3956