In this age of technology, you can research your ancestry and get your DNA tested online which will give you a lot of data about your family, but it will not provide you the anecdotes that are some of the most important pieces of their lives and your family history. You want to get these pieces before it is too late. The prime holiday season that starts this month is the ideal time to gather these stories.
I wasn’t lucky enough to have these conversations with my parents as my mother died suddenly when I was 17 and my father died when I was 31. My mother came from a large family and nearly everyone lived within 10 miles of each other so I’d heard lots of stories and thought I knew my family’s history well. But 15 years ago, I realized that wasn’t the case. Living far away, I asked my last uncle to dictate thoughts and memories about his childhood and anything else he could remember. I sent him a tape recorder and cassettes. I learned so much that I never knew. Then in 2011 I moved to Florida to take care of my last aunt who had congestive heart failure and about a year to live. I found out much more, such as who in my family had the hazel color eyes that my sister and I had; it was my grandfather. I am so grateful for the time we spent together.
Have these conversations now before it’s too late. Here are some questions you can use about yourself/spouse to start.
- What was your childhood like?
- What you were like in high school (and college if applicable)?
- What were the major decisions you made before 30 and why did you make those choices?
- What about decisions at 40, 50, 60 or later?
- What is your happiest memory as a child, teenager, spouse, parent?
- What was the best experience you had with their family and before they had a family?
- What do you miss most about 40, 50, 60 years ago?
- What family tradition do you treasure the most?
- What have you appreciated most in the past 10 years?
- Looking back, what are you most proud of?
- What you have wanted your children to know but didn’t come up.
- What have you always wanted to ask your children?
Think about what you want to know and ask the questions that will fill in your picture. Take notes, create a document and share the document with your entire family. The document can make a wonderful holiday or birthday gift for your family members.
We at The Seniors Answer specialize in helping seniors live a happy and healthy life. We have a team devised to tackle and manage concerns that seniors may have. We are experts in wide range of life management issues that can help seniors make sure their golden years stay golden.
If you have questions or need information about your loved-one’s life management issues don’t hesitate to reach out.Call me at 305-646-1833 or email me. We love helping our clients get the information and assistance they need from personal issues to daily money management, home management and more.