Grandparents, Share Your Story


As grandparents, a part of your legacy to your grandchildren and other extended members of your family tree is to pass on your story. Even the details that you do not believe are very significant can be extremely important to future generations. If you do not communicate the details of your story to your family, this information will be lost forever when you leave this world.

Not every family has an intimate knowledge of where they came from. Of course, your children may already know that you came to this country from overseas (if you are an immigrant), or that your parents came to this country with the hopes of a brighter future, more opportunities and greater freedom. Children these days have no idea of the struggles that immigrants were met with when they first arrived in this country and this is why you need to describe it in detail.

If you are not very good at communicating with your children or your grandchildren, then you should try to communicate your story in another way. Perhaps you could write it down in a journal by hand or on a computer. It is not necessary that you write down everything all in one day, but if you work at it over time, you will be able to create an extensive summary of your life history.

What kinds of things should grandparents write about?

First of all, write about the country that you or your family immigrated from.

Where did your family live?

When did your family come to Alaska?

Did they have a farm or did they live in a city?

Providing the name of the place that your family roots are established may be important to future generations because they may wish to visit that place and see it for themselves.

Try to write about what life was like for you as a child.

What were your parents like?

Did your father fight in a war?

What was your mother like?

What was your experience with school?

Where did you go to school?

Did you walk to school or did you ride a horse to school?

Today’s younger generations will not be able to understand the concept of the one room school house, so you may have to give some details about it if you attended that type of school.

Try to write about your experience in education.

Did you go on to post-secondary education?

Did you obtain any certificates or degrees?

Were you an apprentice?

Your descendants are going to be extremely interested in your profession, if you had one, and your career and work life. They may even want to follow in your footsteps in your chosen career path.

Another important part of your story is how and where you met your spouse.

Did you have to seek permission to date or were you in a forbidden relationship?

Where did you marry?

How many people were at the wedding?

One piece of information that should always be shared is hereditary diseases and/or conditions.

If your family has a history of certain diseases, you should definitely share this with your children and your grandchildren. Historically, much of this medical information was not shared because it was considered a source of shame. The truth is that if your family is aware of certain signs to look for, then they may be able to get an earlier diagnosis and have access to better treatments.

It can be the best gift of all as grandparents, to provide your oral or written history. If you have time work on these small questions day by day. Your grandchildren will adore you for the time you took to capture these memories. Here’s a great resource to get you started

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