If you have ever thought of asking questions of your parents or grandparents, to get the stories that lie deep in their memory banks, I would like to inspire you to ask questions now! I have heard too often “I wanted to but now they are gone”.
How well do you know your grandparents?
Hopefully, they are still with you, but chances are if you are losing the battle against the grays and find that washing them away just isn’t cutting it, you are likely to have lost your grandparents at some point too. My mother’s mother was the only one to make it to our wedding, and it’s been over 16 years since that wonderful day =). My children never met my grandparents, but they are fortunate to have a great-grandmother on their father’s side. She is a big part of our lives and the kids have had the chance to really get to know her.
But, the question is…how well do you really know your grandparents and your parents? Do you know what they loved to do when they were younger? Do you know their parent’s names and perhaps some stories about their grandparents? Do you know what they did for a living? for fun? Do you know their personality traits? Perhaps your daughter’s artistic talents came from a long line of artists? Or maybe a great grandmother painted a portrait that hangs on the walls of a famous person’s house today? Did you know that your great-great grandparents were United Empire Loyalists and that they fought in the War of 1812? I didn’t know that particular fact until this past weekend when I sat with my father and was conducting an interview with him. I am finally getting around to it!
Make A Effort Before It Is Too Late
Despite the fact that my parents live in Ottawa, a 4 3/4 hour drive from our home, we see them quite often and for extended periods of time. This has given our kids the chance to develop a wonderful relationship with them. I asked my kids once, what words come to mind when they think of Grandma and Grandpa. For Grandma, they said: warm, really loving, caring, and a great cook. For Grandpa, they said: sweet, kind, loving, lots of fun, and a hunter. It is interesting how insightful they are. They really captured some key characteristics — no surprise because that is who they are…and their essence will never change.
Last weekend, when my parents were visiting and we were all around the table for a Friday night dinner, the fact that my dad was retired came up in converstion. It is not that we haven’t spoken of it before on a couple of occasions, but I was curious to see if my daughter knew what grandpa did before he retired. My daughter said…”Hmm, I think he was a hunter!” We all had a great laugh. My father worked in the sales and project management of pre-fabricated homes. Once a week every Fall he would go deer hunting with his buddies. On that note, we don’t see eye to eye, but he is respectful and not wasteful. Nevertheless, I guess my kids had heard us talk about it over the years.
Too Busy Now Can Result In Regret Later
We cannot trust memory or assumptions to preserve our family’s precious stories and details. So often we say that we were meaning to ask or write it down, but life is too distracting and we don’t. So often we are filled with regret because we cannot turn back the hands of time and we lose the person who had the most stories to tell or was the keeper of all the facts. The holidays are coming and many families will get together to celebrate. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask questions about the names of great-grandparents and precious family stories. If you want a list of some basic questions, please e-mail me and I would be happy to provide you a list to help you get started. There is no time like the present!!
A Life Story Is A Gift Of A Lifetime
Another idea is to give the gift of a lifetime. Get together with your family and give your parents or grandparents a life storybook. A precious and priceless gift to them and your family for generations to come. It is that easy — all you have to do is give the gift and A Little Inspiration looks after the rest. You will not find me ‘selling’ my services in my blogs, but because, other than a special birthday or anniversary, this gift-giving holiday season may be the excuse and opportunity that you need to invest in something that will delight the recipient and all your family members. Your family will be grateful always.
Happy Holidays!! And enjoy the stories and family history nuggets that come out of your saying, “Tell me a story about our family…” this holiday season.