Do you know your parents’, grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ stories? If you do, you’re blessed with your family’s heritage—you know and understand your own identity. And if not, I can guarantee that you wish you’d asked questions and taken down notes and found those stories before the family members passed away.
We are our history—our culture, land of origin, and all the interactions of our ancestors down through the years. But if we don’t make an effort to embrace those histories, we will lose them forever.
We grandparents have the wonderful opportunity to leave our history as a legacy to our children and grandchildren. And, in case you’ve never noticed, our grandchildren love nothing better than to hear stories of our childhoods.
In my case I can chuckle over the day my uncle Leslie, locked his “Ma” in the hen house while she gathered eggs. He then went back into their North Dakota farmhouse and told the rest of the family. “Boy, we sure have a big old hen in the henhouse today.” The kicker to this story is the fact that Leslie had a hernia and the doctor had told the family he was never to cry. He knew he was safe from the discipline he deserved.
What stories do you have to tell your family? Don’t procrastinate on this important task. And here are some books that may help you on the way to capturing your important family history for generations to come.
You’ll begin with your birth and work forward, including stories from current activities and experiences with your grandchildren. There’s room to share your hopes and dreams for your grandchildren. A treasure to leave behind.
Tell your life story in your own words. Talk about your family traditions and all your adventures throughout life. This comes in a twelve month format, each month asking twelve questions with room for your embellished, personal answers.
Grandfather Remembers: Memories for My Grandchild by Judith Levy
Using simple illustrations, this fill-in book will explore your family tree, life history and includes room for family photos. You’ll recount your childhood experiences, tell all your funny stories and record your happiest moments in life.
Grandpa, Tell Me Your Memories by Kathleen Laskier
This book is a daily journal of childhood memories. You’ll answer just one question per day until the book is complete from your early days to the present. There is also a Grandma version, too.
Memories for My Grandchild: A Keepsake to Remember by Suzanne Zenkel
This lovely book is to be completed by hand, in ink. It is 96 pages long with guided questions and prompts to help you tell the story of your life to your grandchildren. You’ll cover your childhood, your teen years, your education, love story and marriage, your work history, the community you live in, your religion, military service and some open-ended questions to help you tell all the stories you hold dear.