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A Story Worth Telling W hen my grandmother died, I inherited so many of her things, like jewelry, pictures, and even her house. There were many sentimental items I kept to remember her by. However, her stories are what I truly wish I had more of. My grandmother was a collector, especially of fabric and art supplies. In fact, she could have opened her own craft and sewing store. Grandma had a forbidden room that she wouldn’t let anyone in, though it was mainly because it was so disorganized and cluttered with craft supplies that she was embarrassed for anyone to see it. After she passed away, I went in to clear things out, and I found this amazing poem with illustrations she had written for my grandfather. How We Capture a Family Legacy
journal. Once a day, take a moment to write down a memory you want to share. You could also record your stories
with a video camera or even use something simple as an audio recorder on a smartphone. Children or grandchildren who want to preserve the stories of their elders could also take time to record interviews with them. There are also numerous programs that make collecting these stories easy. • The website StoryWorth.com is an amazing resource that will send questions to a loved one once a week, and at the end of the year, it will compile all the answers into a beautifully bound book. • Workbooks with “Grandma, Tell Me Your Story” or “Grandpa, Tell Me Your Memories” have questions and prompts on each page to help dig up old memories. • If you need help capturing stories on video, FamilyLineVideo.com offers packages with everything you need to create video memoirs or legacy videos. I treasure the heirlooms my grandmother passed down to me, but I would trade it all for one hour of hearing her tell me stories again. When we’re gone, all that will be left are the stories our family will tell about us. I think it’s so important to share those stories while we still can.
It was a tongue-in-cheek poem all about how she was going to leave him if he kept bringing home stray animals, something my grandfather was guilty of. It was extremely funny, and in the margins around the poem, there were pictures and colored pencil illustrations she drew herself. I was so surprised! I thought I knew my grandmother well, but I had never seen this creative, artistic side of her. We were really close, but I wish I’d recorded or written down the stories she told me. My grandmother lived an incredible life, and I only saw small pieces of it. With Mother’s Day having just passed and Father’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about family stories. We all have them; some are funny, and others are sad. Each person’s story makes up who they are today and who future generations will be. I know many people would love to hear the love stories, pieces of wisdom, triumphs, cautionary tales, and even medical history of their grandparents or great-grandparents. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to share or capture your family stories.
Cindy Saunders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The simplest way to share a story is by writing it down in a
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