Monday, March 10, 2008
My mother seems to spend a lot of time reminiscing about the past. Some of it is self induced, yet at other times, I admit I've asked her to share a story. She loves to talk about her family and their descendants and my father and his history.
We all struggle to know ourselves, and a large part of doing this is in knowing our family's past. Seniors are our most valuable source of untapped resources this country has, and when one shares a story, history comes alive. The smallest things can make interesting stories. Looking at a photograph of my grandmother holding my mother on her lap, I wondered how she felt in that long black dress, buttoned high on her neck with ruffles and long sleeves, the style of dressing in her day. Oh! And laced into a corset all day, everyday! And how did she fix her hair that way? And how did grandpa make money back then? So many questions and my mother is the only one left who can answer them.
There are many ways to go about recording the history of your family. Physically writing down the details as the seniors speak is one way. Using a voice recorder is another, then transcribing the stories. A video recording is a wonderful way to record not only the story but a photo of the family member who is speaking. I can't think of a better gift for the family than to hear about their past through the memories of the seniors in the family. Do it before time runs out. I intend to and I'll let you know how it goes.