Everyone has stories to tell. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
ELDERLY PARENT STORIES
Pregnancies are the birth of a new story? Each pregnancy and each child is unique. Record your pregnancy experience to share with your child when they get older. How did you feel? What were your hopes, aspirations, and fears for your child? Share your story with them when they are having their own first child.
Recall the birth of your first child. What were you doing? How did that impact your life? How did you feel about it? Share the story with them when they are your age, and they will share it with their children.
INDIVIDUAL SHORT BIOS
Short biographies are a good way to get started quickly. Gather several photos of a family member and describe their life in terms of what they did and what they meant to you.
Interview someone who lived through a major event. What was their life like just before, during and after. How did the event change them?
FAMILY UNIT STORIES
Select photos of your family members and create narrative that explains what makes the family special or different than most? What does the family mean to you?
What games did your family play? Who cheated the most? Who won the most? When did you stop playing and why?
Where did you go to school? Was was your experience like? Were you popular, a good, average or poor student? Did you work your way through college, or benefit from the GI bill? Did you follow the path your parents wanted you to take? What would you do if had a do over?
KIDS HAVE STORIES TOO
GRANDKIDS & GRANDPARENTS
Select a few photos of a grandparent interacting with a grandchild. Record them together with the audio tool without making a big deal. Create a story of that relationship. They both will value it tremendously.
The first car is always a winner. Everyone remembers their first whether it was their first bike, car, girl/boy friend, date, prom, wife. These all make great stories. Consider creating a story of all the cars you owned and the pictures and a few stories relating to the adventures on the road and in the car.
Hobbies also reflect who a person is. Were they creative? Were they task and detail oriented? What did they choose to paint or build? Which family member ended up with those masterpieces?
Photograph the diary so all siblings and grandchildren can have access to it. Diaries are a glimpse into one’s life. What did they write about? If possible get the family member to read a few excerpts so you can archive the diary in their voice.
Military service can be a subject that impacts a family’s life in many different ways whether it was during war time or peace time. Be sure to include a few pictures of one’s military career and explore how that time serving impacted the family. Even civilian lives were change drastically because of the war and these stories too are worth saving.
What holidays and family traditions did you celebrate? How important were they to you? Choose a favorite holiday season and show photos across a number of years and and record a conversation sharing your memories.
Whether it is a hobby or a career, many talented amateur artists have come and gone without recognition. Make sure you photograph those pieces you or your parents and grandparents created before they dissipate into the descendant pool. This way everyone can appreciate the creative side of the person.
PHOTO ALBUMS & SCRAPBOOKS
What do you do with the scrapbooks that were so lovingly put together by the creative minded parent? You can’t divide them up among the kids/grandkids. Scan or photograph each page and if possible, record the parent reminiscing page by page. It will be a treasure shared by all siblings and grandchildren.