By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor
Have you ever had a conversation with your parent that ends up with your response being, “I didn’t know that about you, dad” or “Mom, you never told me that before!”
How much do you know about your parent’s life? Who will preserve the memories and knowledge of family history when your parents are gone? Will family stories be passed down from generation-to-generation? If your family doesn’t have a storyteller, family history could eventually disappear.
The upcoming holiday season is a great time to take steps to preserve your family’s memories. Although the task of preserving family memories sounds complex, it doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective.
Here are some ways to preserve your family’s memories.
Make a family video. A video biography not only captures family stories, but also your elder’s voice, image and personality – something that only film can reproduce. Make a video of your parent responding to questions from you or another family member. Talking is usually easier for older parents than writing memories down, and you’ll be glad later that you saved your parent’s likeness and voice in addition to preserving family stories.
It could be as simple as a hand-held video device. Sitting around after Thanksgiving Dinner and telling stories. Or, if going all out is your family’s style, have a professional videotaping session, where a videographer comes to where your parent lives, with a professional video, audio and lighting equipment.
“Generations of their families yet unborn will be able to experience their ancestors’ recollections first hand,” Steve Pender, President of Family Legacy Video, Inc. (www.familylegacyvideo.com) says of the power of video technology. “They’ll not only learn valuable family history in a first-hand way, but by seeing and hearing the physical and personality traits they share with their storytellers, they’ll connect with them in a very personal manner. The process of creating a video biography can also bring families closer, help family members reconnect and foster an appreciation for, and pride in, shared family history.”
Memory Keepers: Preserve Family Memories originally appeared on AgingCare.com.