“If life is worth living it is worth recording. “
I took that advice to heart. I have been keeping Journals since 1998 and they make up a significant part of my personal development library. If you want more advice on how to keep a Journal you can watch this video. One Christmas, when I went home to see my Granny Grace in the early 1993 I had a great idea. To this day, it continues to pay dividends. She was 90 and sharp as a tack.
I had a new video camera. Do you remember those? Do you still have one? I took the opportunity to interview my Granny one one one, with the family and playing the piano. I recorded over 3 hours of material. I duplicated it and gave a copy to her and the entire family. Granny loved it! She had never seen herself on TV! She thought it was absolutely amazing! She passed away shortly after my oldest daughter Madison was born. I know have an easy way to show them what a character their Great Granny Grace was.
Too often we do not capture the stories and document the experiences that make our family unique. I went back to visit my dad a couple weeks ago. He is battling lung cancer and endured multiple rounds of chemo. He is fighting to stay alive and regain his strength. When he was up to it I was able to interview him and capture some great material. I will do round two on my next trip.
My suggestion – do not wait. Carpe diem!
Here are some potential questions to ask your parents or grandparent.
Where were you born/grow up? Tell me about your childhood – chores/school/sports/pets/toys/hobbies.
What do you remember about your mom, dad, grandparents, brothers, sisters?
What do you remember best about your parents?
What did you and your siblings do in your spare time?
Did the family move around quite a bit?
What is your favorite childhood memory?
What styles of clothing did children wear then?
Did your family have any special traditions?
When did you leave home?
Are there any family recipes that are particularly special?
Are there any heirlooms that have been passed down from one generation to another?
How did you learn to drive, what type of car, first experience?
How did you meet granny/grandpa? How long did you date? Tell me about the courtship/wedding/honeymoon
What was your first job? Other jobs, passions, politics
What kind of strange or unusual twist have happened to you though out life?
Did you ever hear of any scandals in the family?
Did you ever run into any one famous?
Do you remember any stories your parents used to tell, or actually had happen to them?
What would you like to see the family become in the future?
What was your greatest accomplishment in life and what was your greatest disappointment?
Don’t be afraid to let the interviewee get off the subject. You may get unexpected good stories this way. If necessary, gently steer your interviewee in the right direction. Take out all the old pictures that have been tucked away. Seeing them will bring out some great stories.
With today’s technology it is easy to record, edit and post the videos for all to see. Also, make sure you put them on a DVD for them to watch and show easily to others if they are not one line to see it streaming. Look for news on a new company called Legacy Harbor that will be online depository for all your family memories.