Family stories form the fabric our our identity
There is nothing more disheartening to a loved one than not knowing the family stories that form the fabric of their identity. Where did your family originate? With what did you and your ancestors make your mark and distinguish yourselves? How did you and your parents and grandparents fit in with local and national history? What was your reaction-action-inaction to what went on in your neighborhood, city, and country? What are your philosophies and guiding principles?
We all want to look into the souls of our ancestors to see if we somehow inherited their beliefs, their looks, their personalities. We can only do this and know who we are if someone takes the time to record these family stories.
Ages ago these stories were handed down in the oral tradition, around a campfire, in a family parlor or around a kitchen table. Today, with families separated by distance and sometimes discord, the potential for loss of traditions and personal history is much greater than in our grandparents’ time.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
There comes a time in everyone’s life when we wish we had written down some things Grandma said, or recorded Gramps when he talked about his war experiences. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start asking your loved ones to tell their stories, then record them in some format. Ask them if they kept a journal or diary and where it may be located in the event of their death. And why not keep your own, beginning today, then mine it later for your own personal memoir, a precious gift to your children and grandchildren?
Not a writer? No problem!
Not a writer? No problem. Record a video of yourself or your family member. Or use a recording app on your cell phone to capture their voice as they tell a family story. Even consider the potential for publishing your unique story in a book that will be treasured for generations.
We can help you get started with baby steps, a chapter at a time.
So gather those photos, start reminiscing and check out our resources and suggestions. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can have a finished keepsake to keep your memories alive for generations to come.
The single most important thing you can do for your family is to develop a strong family narrative.
The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.–Bruce Feiler, New York Times