During RootsTech 2014 I learned something that I think I already knew, but never realized. Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, shared the quote, "Our oral family history can be lost in three generations".
Three generations doesn't seem like a big spread when you think about your kids, you, your parents, and your grandparents. Before now I was pretty sure my kids knew my parents and grandparents, but now I'm convinced they don't know them nearly well enough.
To make the point that our family stories are being lost Judy continued with a series of questions, such as:
• What was your mother's first childhood illness?
• At what age did your father first attend a funeral, and whose was it?
• What was your grandmother's favorite book?
• Could your great grandfather swim?
Asking myself those questions I realized that, although I thought I knew enough stories from my parents and grandparents, I couldn't answer once. Which makes me question how well I even know them.
So how do we make sure our own stories aren't forgotten? What about our grandparents? What about our children? Do we want our lives, and the lives of those we love, to be lost forever?
Our stories are too important to me. I've decided to make a conscious effort to do what I can to save those stories - not just for me, but for my family's legacy.