Saturday, August 22, 2009

Put Those Family Stories in Writing

Family dinners often end up with people sitting around the table long after the plates are empty to talk about the 'good old days' of times past. Story after story is related, mostly because one tale triggers memories of another. But then everyone goes home, and the stories are buried until another time when the family gathers.

There's often one family member who is the main storyteller, someone who has a knack at making a simple little episode become alive. But what happens when that person is no longer able to attend the family gatherings or passes on? Something special has been lost. If only Aunt Hester had put some of those stories on paper. Right? If not Aunt Hester, then somebody in your family should start writing the stories and putting them in a booklet so that they can be read again and again.

I know what you're thinking--I don't have time to do that. I'm not really a writer. Maybe somebody else can do it. If you want your family history to be passed on to future generations, then someone needs to take responsiblity and do it. You don't have to be a professional writer. The important thing is to get the story written. Kids in 2009 should hear about the time Great-Grandpa Jones got lost in a snowstorm trying to get home from his one room country school, or maybe how Great-Great Grandma Kramer crossed the Atlantic searchng for a better life in America. Our heritage is an important part of us, and we deserve to know about it.

But family stories get lost over the years when only passed on verbally. If one person in a family is reluctant to do the job, form a committee to work on the project. The stories can be assembled into a simple notebook or done in a more professional form if you like. Nothing is all right or all wrong. Your choice. Do it any way you want to but please do it! Do it for your kids, your grandkids and their kids.

Write the stories, Keep your family alive forever.


  1. Excellent! I'm the story keeper in our family and I could use a little prod to get going again. Glad to see you on Facebook.

  2. Hi Tracy. Congratulations on being your family storykeeper. You'll never regret it nor will generations to come. Keep going.