Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Story Worth Telling

Everyone has a story to tell. But not everyone has someone to tell their story to. The theme of this blog is, "Write Now-Because it's later than you think." And it's really a double meaning. It refers to being a writer and it refers to writing down family history. But not everyone has family. And even if they do have family, their story still may not be told. That's where you and I come in. When you choose to write down someone's story, you are honoring their life. You are honoring their memories and what better way to do that than to create a permanent record of it?

As I contemplate this in my own life, I first think of my parents and the stories they have to tell. But I also think of my children; why not ask them to share their school memories? And I think of my grandparents and wish I'd had my life together enough to realize that they wouldn't be around forever to tell their stories. And that's why I'm here. I'm writing this now to encourage myself as well as my readers- to do something today to make a difference.

When you think of writing down someone's stories, consider;
  • Your Children - Even if they are young, or maybe especially if they are young, they have exuberant stories to tell.
  • Your "Greats" - Chances are that your "greats" have less time left to tell their stories than anyone else in your family. Great aunts, uncles, grandparents and anyone else of that generational age are a wonderful place to begin. Their stories are full of thoughts, vocabulary, and history that will too soon be gone forever.
  • Your Parents - Sometimes we forget that our parents had a life before us. And that means that there are stories we haven't heard, let alone experienced.
  • Cousins - first ones...second ones, and once removed ones-Oh MY! If you have cousins you can interview, you'd be surprised by the stories they will tell. You'll learn things about not only your cousins, but also your aunts and uncles that you never would have known.
  • Your Siblings - It may be tempting to skip talking to your siblings. After all, it would seem that they have the same stories to tell that you do. But what you will find is that they do indeed have stories to tell which are unrelated to you. And you may even learn more about your parents and yourself.

When you think about interviewing someone, don't forget about your non-blood-relatives. Consider the following.

  • Neighbors
  • Nursing Home Patients
  • In-laws (brother, sister, mother, father)
  • Members of your Church
  • Friends
  • People who are Ill
  • People who are lonely
  • Children (with parents permission of course)
  • Step Children/Step parent

The possibilities are endless. Tell someone's story today. ~Karen


Linda Austin said...

I have older neighbors, 90+ years old, with doting adult children who haven't thought of or had time to capture their parents' stories, and, oh, they have some real history in them. Some day soon, I want to sit down with them and write about their early days, for me as well as their own family.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

That is beautiful! How fortunate you are to have them nearby. Please come back and share...I'd love to know what you find out. ~Karen