Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Get to know your Family Stories

If I asked you to tell me a story about your family, what story would you extol and who would be the center of that story?   Your parents, grandparents, or someone else?

Henry and Clara Sanders Family
The challenge with family stories is like fables and myths, they merge into the fabric of the past generations.  Over time, the story becomes filtered and tend to ameliorate the plot line and unfortunately, many stories get "lost", so we end up telling fewer of them.   

A story doesn't have to be moralistic or have a valiant outcome.   Today, we are all more hurried in our actions, work, eat, family time, sleep, repeat.   Our ancestors didn't have the same technology we do, so their family time was spent telling stories. 

Every moment is actually a story, every interaction with your child, parents, friends, and family.   As we grow older, much of the edges of details are softened and key elements may fade.    Therefore, it is imperative to bring those stories of the past back to life.  If you haven't already started, you should site down and go through your memories of friends, family members and record their stories.   One day, someone will want to know who that person was.

With holidays on the way, now is a great time to take advantage of getting to know your family stories.  Ask everyone in the family about what they liked to do, what was a typical day when they were kids, who they liked in sports and more.  You will be surprised at the amount of information you get.

The best way to record these is to record them on a tape or digital recorder; even paper, pencil in a journal works great!   The most important part is what you do with them - decide how to best share them.   If on paper, make a copy and send to your cousins, aunts, parents, etc.   If on digital media, get it out through email or a blog.   Be sensitive about the information being shared as well as the privacy, for security reasons.

Don't forget that you should record your stories and the stories your remember.   Those are the easiest to collect.   Sometimes it is good to also check with other relatives to determine if they remembered the same things.  Most times, they will remember a few more details, and this only helps build your story.

Enjoy the time, getting to know your family stories.  

A cousin to be

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