Did you hear the one about the time my dad built a double decker boat out of an old pontoon? How about the one where my grandma lied about her ago so grandpa would take her out! Oh! What about the one where my husbands great-great-grandfather started a dairy farm!
There are so many stories that make us who we are today. The stories I mentioned above, are all REAL true stories from my past! They are who made my family who they are today, and there made me who I am today.
That’s why I want to share with you these 7 great reasons you should record your family’s story… TODAY!
1. Someday it will be too late
Hearing your family members tell stories of their past can be so fulfilling, fun and you can learn so much. Unfortunately, your family members won’t always be around to tell those stories. Your children and grandchildren may never have a chance to hear them in the same way you did.
But things are different today than they were back then. We now have modern technology that allows us to record these moments in more than just words in a notebook, or photos on a page. Now we can record your family member in real life, showing their real personality and telling the story as they lived it.
2. Who’s in that family picture?
We all have family photos laying around that we’re not sure what to do with. When were they taken? Who are the people in the photo? Where was this? What were they up to when they snapped this? What made the moment special that made them take a photo?
There are so many unanswered questions in photos from the past, but it doesn’t have to be that way for the future! In a time where we take more photos than ever before, and a time where that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon… it is worth the few minutes it takes to record your family tree so others can identify family members in the pictures for years to come.
3. Leave messages for your grandkids
Grandparents are a gift. They are so caring, loving, full of wisdom and have stories that go on for ages (literally)! But they don’t always get the chance to share those stories with their youngest family members at an age that they will remember.
Having grandparents leave messages for their grandkids is one of the most amazing pieces of history they can leave behind. Leave a message for them to open on a special birthday like 10, 16 or 18. Leave a message to be opened on a wedding day or on the birth of their first child! Plan ahead and prepare special messages that will be cherished for years to come.
4. Books are great, but they don’t capture the whole story
There are tons of books out there that prompt you to ask questions to your loved ones. I know that, because I have one! When my father was sick, I was given a book like this. I sat in his hospice room and asked him question after question. I wrote down his answers as quickly as my hands could write. Looking back on those now, I find that I missed a whole lot of details because I couldn’t write as fast as he was talking. I used shorthand and abbreviations to try and make it work, but there are holes in the stories and lots of missing details.
I get the desire for something tangible, something to hold, to show and to have on the shelf, but more than that, I get the desire to fully capture my dad and the stories he had to tell.
5. Document your family history now, and moving forward
If you’ve ever tried to do a genealogy search, or build a family tree, you know how difficult it can be. Without a doubt you’ve got photos without dates, names or locations. You came to dead ends because of lack of good information. There are lots of companies that help you look back far into your family history, why not record it moving forward instead!
6. Give answers to the questions you wish you had asked
One question I always wish I had known the answer to is “what was it like for you to go to ophthalmology school back then”. I’d ask my grandfather this question if I had the chance. He was an incredibly smart man and I did not get to know him well enough as a kid. He lived in Florida and we in Pennsylvania, seeing them only a couple of times per year. I wish I had known, back then, that it would be important to know him better.
Our kids don’t know that either quite yet, but if we can capture these questions for them now, they can appreciate them later when they realize how meaningful it really is!
7. Memory keeping just got easier
Gone are the days of taking your film to the store, waiting 5 days for the film to be developed and ready for pickup. Gone are the days of creating photo albums using sticky pages and gone are the days of taking 3-minute sound-less motion films. We now live in a time where almost everyone carries a high-tech video camera in their pockets everywhere they go. It has gotten so easy to take photos and videos and to capture memories in everyday life.
Becoming intentional with those pictures and videos is the next step to really recording your family history.
Ask the questions, record the answers, leave a legacy.
That’s what Securing Memories is really all about.