Friday, 24 March 2017

Legacies

I have recently embarked on a project with my daughter. We have taken all our family's old photos that have until now sat in shoe boxes or ancient crumbling albums, scanned them, organized them and are creating a family album that spans 4 generations (thank you Shutterfly!). We are fortunate that my grandparents kept organized records in an ancient book that detailed births, deaths and marriages so we have some context to work within. It is beyond fascinating to wander through their lives through photos and dates and to create a family history for my children. I wish I had the foresight when my grandparents were alive to ask them more questions and have conversations with them about generations before them. There is a richness in learning one's family history and understanding how you got to where you are and how very fortunate you are that certain decisions were made well before you were born. I've often thought of the importance of legacies, of family histories or gifting future generations with things we have learned and how they got to where they are today.

I encourage all of you who read this to consider creating your own legacy to pass down to your families. Photos are wonderful but not everyone has the time or patience to pull it all together and with computers and video camera on every phone, there are other ways to save and transmit memories and history. If you have elder relatives sit down with them and ask them questions - I found a list online that is quite apropos so I'm going to include  a few of them them below but the full list of 20 questions can be found on https://www.agingcare.com/articles/questions-to-ask-elderly-parents-147907.htm if you are interested in expanding on these. Write down their answers or better yet, video tape them as they answer them. Ask them to show you photos of important people in their lives and consider scanning or photographing them so you can include them in your creation. It can be a wonderful bonding and special project for grandchildren to do with their grandparents or children to do with their parents.

If I had a chance to sit down with my grandparents now, these are  some the questions I would ask them.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most?
What was the happiest moment of your life?
What are you most proud of?
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life?
What was school like for you as a child? 
Do you remember any fads from your youth? 
What world events had the most impact on you?

(Questions from: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/questions-to-ask-elderly-parents-147907.htm)
What questions would you add to the list? What things would you like to know about the generations before you? And what do you want your children to know about you? 

Knowing where we came from, helps us to understand where we are today and where we want to go.

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