Your Life Story Is Important!
Guest Post by Char Huskins
About fifteen years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a week with each of my grandmothers to get their life story, and I took along a tape recorder and a LOT of interview questions. This was “back in the day” before making movies on an iPhone or iPad was easy, before even using a video camera was easy. I hoped to get stories from them both that hadn’t been heard, or that we wouldn’t want to forget when they were gone someday.
I spent hours with each of them, and ended up with several cassette tapes of questions and answers between me and my grandmothers. I took notes as we talked, and they shared stories about early memories, toys, friends, school… the way life was when they were growing up. They both grew up in the 1920’s and 30 – Depression era – so it was important history, not just personally but for our country!
One of my grandmothers was blunt and honest and held nothing back (her personality), and the other was softer in her responses, and often telling me, “oh, that didn’t sound very nice – don’t write that down” after she’d tell me a story (again, her personality).
Saving the Story
My husband is way more tech savvy than me so he was able to transfer the taped interviews to digital format and I now have CD’s and mp3’s of these interviews. I can make copies for cousins, my kids, and whomever else would like to listen to our matriarchs share their stories. It’s been wonderful to listen to the interviews and hear their voices, the emotion of some memories, and our giggles together.
One one of the tapes, my nephew is a baby and his sweet baby voice is in the background. Priceless! It’s so much easier to record audio (and video) nowadays, and save interviews digitally, so there isn’t any reason you can’t! If you don’t know how… ask your grandchild!
Share Your Story
I was fortunate to have both my grandmothers around to interview while in my 20’s, and I came to them prepared with pages of questions. Maybe your children or grandchildren haven’t thought to ask for official interviews, but I promise that if you record your stories – whether digitally, on video, or even written word – those stories will be the most precious inheritance you can leave.
If you aren’t sure where to start, do an amazon search for “Sharing Family Stories”. There are some great books with resources, lists, and ideas of how to best share YOUR story. Here’s just one of many options: Memories for My Grandchild
What stories can YOU share that will leave a lasting legacy for your children, grandchildren and those to come?