How to Create an Eternal Family Connection
I saw this article in the Green Valley News by Mike Dant and wanted to share it because Mike makes two really good - and unique - points about why people should write their life story.
'... All four of my grandparents were born in the 1880s. Since I was born in the late 1930s, by the time I was old enough to interact with them, they were aging, and by the time I was an adult they had died. Aside from the few stories my parents told me about them, I don’t know much about their lives, what their stories were.
I do know that one of my grandfathers was the superintendent of the Detroit division of the Wabash Railroad in the 1940s and 1950s. Railroading was a big industry in that era, and he was a big part of it. But I know almost nothing about how he got the job, almost nothing about the man himself.
I know that when she was a little girl, one of my grandmothers received an orange for Christmas (wow). That was all! I don’t know her family’s circumstances, what stories she had to tell.
Several years ago, I began writing some recollections of my youth and of some important moments in my adult life. I suppose it might be egotistical, but I want future generations to know who I was, what my life and times were like. Then, they’ll have a real connection to a personal past.
They’ll learn, for example, that when I lived in Decatur, Illinois in the 1940s, our milkman used a horse and van for his deliveries. They’ll learn that the horse knew the route so well, he’d automatically stop at the right house and clop past the ones that didn’t take deliveries from that dairy. Mom would leave an order in our milk box by the back door, and Jerry would fill it. Milk came in glass bottles then, bottles that had a narrow neck toward the top to separate the milk from the cream. On hot summer days, Jerry would chip a slice of ice from the big block for me to suck on.
These anecdotes and others like it will give future generations some insights into my past, and they’ll have a personal connection to it.
You, dear reader, should do the same for generations that follow you. You owe it to them.
Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation; it’s the connection that counts. “I remember…” or “When I was in school…” or “At the first house I lived in…” or “One Christmas…” are good for starters.
You’ll find that as you write, more stories will come to mind, and your pen will start to “flow” with ideas... '
- - - Very well said, Mike.
And so true.
We have seen the same thing from working with so many life story writers and life stories.
The writing process and result benefits EVERYONE:
1. The Writer
2. Their Family and Friends
3. Our Society
Mike Also Gave Two Other Unique Reasons To Write Your Story:
A. '... Just as it’s important for youngsters to learn about the history of the world and the history of their country, it’s also important that they learn the history of their family. Personal histories that come from personal stories.
B. When future generations read your stories fifty, or a hundred, or two hundred years from now, they’ll silently thank you for sharing “real” history. And you will have achieved something akin to immortality... '
... He makes an excellent point about how we all have to learn about U.S. and World history, but not learn about our own family history!
So many people don't know or understand much about their relatives or family history (which is a shame, because understanding those individuals - your blood relatives - helps you understand yourself).
Mike also says that by sharing your story with your family - who will pass it on forever - you will achieve a level of immortality.
That is also an uncommon and excellent argument.
Are you ready to create an eternal family connection by sharing your story?
You should. You'll be glad you did.
Check out our life story writing app, which makes it easy: https://www.thelifewriter.com/user/register
Here is a link to Mike's Dant's article:
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