On a recent trip to visit my family, we found my grandmother’s recipe box. When we pulled out the recipes, truly, just seeing her handwriting brought tears to my eyes! We began going through the box pulling out recipes while we laughed, cried and remembered!
This experience has me thinking about the gift of sharing memories. Do you have questions about your family? Where did your grandparents grow up? Did they have indoor plumbing? What was your Mother’s favorite childhood memory and the name of her first pet? Maybe you know the answer to some of these questions, but have you taken the time to document them for your kids and their kids?
If you or your children don’t know the answer to these question, May is the perfect time to celebrate Mother’s Day by exploring your families past! Learning about your Mother and her family can help strengthen and build connections within your own family! This activity can help teach the value of listening! There are many ways to share your stories including a family scrapbook, recording conversations or cooking favorite family recipes together!
Today, we can turn to technology for ideas! When we were looking at my grandmother’s recipes, her handwriting was what struck me! Preserving thoughts, handwriting, images, and even someone’s voice can all be priceless possessions!
StoryCorps is a National project to instruct and inspire people to record their stories! It is one of the largest oral history projects of it’s kind. They give a great platform to learn how to participate, generate great questions and see examples of other stories! You can listen to the weekly broadcast on NPR’s Morning Addition at http://www.npr.org/series/4516989/storycorps. I especially love the series, The Memory Loss Initiative. They have created a unique toolkit called Commemorate, designed to help organizations record, share, and preserve the stories of clients living with memory loss. Since 2006, StoryCorps’ Memory Loss Initiative has supported and encouraged people with various forms of memory loss to share their stories with loved ones and future generations. To date, the Memory Loss Initiative collected more than 1,800 interviews with 180 partner organizations. Check it out at http://storycorps.org/memory-loss/!
Another creative idea I love has been inspired by Atria Senior Living. All Atria communities give a beautiful Hardcover work book titled “Field notes From An Adventurous Live” to all of it’s residents as a move in gift. I love the dedication page. It reads “For our residents, whose stories inspire us every day, and for their families and generations to come. May the insights, memories, wisdom, reflections and revelations recorded in these pages be a source of delight to all who share it.” I think that says it all!
As you and your family begin to think about Mother’s Day, you can turn to Pinterest for some other fun ideas! They have great examples; https://www.pinterest.com/cawelti/family-history-ideas-gifts/.
We challenge you to put your heads together, think of a creative project to fit your family and spend the Mother’s Day celebrating your mom and listening to her tell you about her life!