I have always been fascinated by stories. As I have gotten older, I have realized more and more the importance of preserving these stories for our children and their grandchildren. There is so much to learn and history that can be lost if we lose sight of the importance of slowing down and taking time to pause and listen to the generations that come before us.
Watching my friends and family experience real, genuine, and raw life in the last few years, what is essential has become more apparent. The time we have with the people we love is finite, and it is not guaranteed, so it’s time to harness the time we do have.
My grandfather, Willie, is the last surviving grandparent I have. When writing this article, he is 93 and has lived through so much life and history. He has witnessed the world change and evolve in more ways than I can imagine, but until recently, I never took the time to sit down and hear his story. Why? Well, it was never a priority until recently when I began to realize the importance of generational stories. I realized I never knew much about his childhood, how he met my grandmother, his first job, or even the memories we shared as young children.
Yes, I remember some things, but we never really sat down to hear the overall life story, if that’s what you call it. Willie loves to tell stories; he is a master gardener, hydrangea aficionado, a wonderful grandfather, and a soon-to-be great-grandfather. He is proud of his family and proud of his history. If we took the time to sit down with our parents and grandparents and had them tell their stories, it would have a profound impact on their lives and ours as well.
So, that is what I set out to do. I sat down with Willie and recorded his story to learn more about his life and legacy. So my children and their children would know my grandfather, see a glimpse into what his life was like and appreciate our family’s roots.
Generational stories are powerful, unique, and priceless. We need to take the time to stop and preserve them because the stories and the people who lived them won’t be around forever.