Many of us have loved sitting at grandma’s or grandpa’s knee and hearing about the stories of our ancestors; their trials and challenges, their achievements and the stories that make them special. The sad thing is that so many stories are lost as each generation passes.
It’s not just the stories of the families, but of society and the history of the nation and world and the part our ancestors played in that. Now the stories of the “greatest generation” who fought in the battles of WWII and supported soldiers and families from here at home are being silenced.
The wonderful thing that is happening, though, is that so many more people are writing down their stories to share with future generations. Some stories are being drafted by the elders of the families. Others are being written with the help of younger generations, but the result is that the stories are being saved.
Interest in this is sparking groups to meet in retirement communities like Galloway Ridge. Together, members share stories that inspire other memories and then they help each other record them. Genealogy is a little different in that it is discovering the lineage, writing memoirs and life stories is saving what you already know.
Becoming an amateur historian can be done in your retirement home or in group meetings or other activities in the library. When like-minded people gather together, it is amazing what can result.
Your family story could become a priceless heirloom, even if you do not consider yourself a writer. It is the story of your life, set in your times, in your own words.
You might just find yourself toting a notebook and pen with you everywhere. Time spent in the gym at the Duke Center for Living on the Galloway Ridge campus might be the place where memories of athletic games and goals come to mind. So write it down.
Eating macaroni and cheese in the dining room might make you recall the special recipe your grandma would make and how you always got to eat the cheesy crust. So write it down.
Life is made up of stories and little events. No one goes from world shaking event to world shaking event – or at least very few of us do. Record your story and save it for your descendants. They will appreciate it and love that you took the time to speak to them.