Having stories to share through the years helps families bond with other generations.
This is my family. My dad, my mom, two brothers and a sister. I’m the youngest. Although we had many of the same experiences over the years, each of our stories are told by our own perspective. It’s fun to reminisce who has the best memory.
Dad’s adventures flying and sleepwalking
My dad had one sister, a few years older than him, and loved to share his stories with us. As a young boy, he had no fear. He made a pair of homemade wings and climbed up on the garage roof, jumped off flapping his arms, only to land on the ground with a thud. Thankfully, he did not break a bone.
He told us about the time he went sleepwalking in his family’s apartment on the 25th floor in Brooklyn. Just as he started opening the window, his sister was grabbed him from behind and woke him up.
As a young Navy sailor, he had another sleepwalking episode on the USS Remey. He left his bunk and walked out onto the deck towards the edge, when a fellow sailor took him by the arm and led him back to his room. He finished the story by telling us that sleepwalkers weren’t allowed to go to sea, for that very reason. So thankfully, it only happened once, and he didn’t get in any trouble.
We could sit for hours and listen to all of his shenanigans over those years. We encouraged him to record them when we found out he was going to die from cancer, but he was too tired.
Mom’s adventures at summer camp and her not-so-favorite teacher
My mom was the youngest of four, similar to me, except she had two sisters and a brother. Everyone in her family had a nickname and hers was Woofie. I asked her one time how she got it and she told me that when she was born, her siblings just wanted a dog, but got her instead, so they named her Woofie. Then she laughed and said that wasn’t really true, but never told me the real story. So that’s the story I now share with others.
My mom’s father died when she was twelve, and then her mom married again a couple years later. Since there was an adjustment time, mom was sent off to attend summer camps. While there, she was able to learn how to shoot a gun and use a bow and arrow. She also went canoeing and swimming, and met some close friends along the way.
My mom went to an all-girls school and one of her teachers just happened to be her future husband’s father. Small world stuff. My parents met when they were twelve, but I’m not sure when they actually started dating, but I think they were 14 when they started dating.
For some reason, I don’t remember many stories of my mom’s growing up years. I have a box of photos that show the stories, but I don’t know what they are about. It wouldn’t be right just to make up a story to go with the picture.
The importance of knowing the stories to share
And that’s sad, because not having a story to pass down through the generations, stops a legacy from taking place. Those without family albums keep their photos in shoe boxes stored in the attic, basement and garage. These wouldn’t help families know or learn their heritage either.
As a Creative Memories consultant, I would encourage people to select several pictures that show the story, secure them in a scrapbook album, and then write the story that goes with them. I would encourage them to have at least one picture of each relative, even if it’s blurry.
Now a days, people keep their photos on an SD card or on the computer. Unless they are shared on Facebook, you might not ever see them. We need to encourage everyone to create a family photo album, so upcoming generations will know their family history.
Let’s all work together to make sure each family has at least one album to pass down through the generations, with photos of the current family also posted in it, with a story they want others to know. Enjoy these special times together.
How many pictures do you have on your phone or Camera SD card? How do you share them with family members?