Are you thinking that your story may not be of importance? Well, think again. Even if you don’t know the stories a few generations back, start with writing yours or your parents.
Your children may not be that interested in your stories but I am sure their children would be. Your kids were interested in their grandparent’s stories. You need to remember the stories that intrigued you. Write them down now as you never know how long you will be able to continue to write the stories or remember those stories.
Make this a project. It can be overwhelming so start small. Think of a story your grandparents told you. Write down what you know. Just keep a list of the stories as you write them down. Once they are all written, put them in order and then in a binder or a digital file.
I have started to write about my family in Medium. I think of a humorous story about my mum or dad and then write a short story about it. I intend to start a publication for family stories and I will transfer the stories I have written to that publication.
Continue to write the stories as you think of them. Once I start, I begin to remember other times. I also remember stories my mum or dad told me about their lives growing up.
My mum grew up on the prairies and her stories about being there during the depression are fascinating. She also told me stories of when she went into nursing school in the ’40s. These are great stories and help you understand your family a little better.
My grandmother talked about coming to Canada from England after the first world war as a war bride. She and grandpa, who was in the Canadian Army, married after a very short time of meeting one another. They lied and said that the three children they were bringing to Canada were their children. They were Grandma’s younger siblings. She came from a family with twelve children and the three youngest would not be able to fend for themselves. Their mother had died and the father was an alcoholic. She knew they could either starve or be shipped off to a foster home that was little more than a work camp. She did what she felt she had to do.
My dad was an immigrant from southern Italy. He told us of all he went through after coming to this country. His father came to Canada and worked and saved his money before going back to Italy to see his wife and first child. He left her pregnant again and returned to Canada to work for 5 more years and then brought the family back to Canada. My father was four and a half at the time.
If these stories are not told when people can tell them they die with the family member.
As my mum aged she lived with my younger sister’s family. She lived to be 92. Until she was almost 90 she was still lucid. My sister heard of a writer that would come to your home and talk with the person whose stories were to be told and then write their story.
This lady would come and visit mum in the early afternoon. They would have tea together and mum would talk about her life. She would ask about each of mum’s children, their personalities, and how they impacted her life.
On mum’s 90th birthday, each of us got a book with pictures and stories of mum and dad’s life and how she delighted in each of our different personalities.
Until you receive something like this it is hard to imagine how grateful you are to have this bit of history.
Writing this down can be therapeutic for many reasons.
Think about this. Think about how important this is for your children or grandchildren to know their history. It can digital or it can be a book as my mum’s gift to us was.
However you go about doing it, it will be worth it.