How will they be remembered?
Creating your legacy
Community Magazine Article - (March 2017)
On a warm sunny spring day, the doctor told my Mom, “You’re COPD is progressively getting worse. It’s end stage.”
That is Doctor speak for it's the beginning of the end.
We had heard this before but we both knew, this time was different.
My mother, Morganna, was a young at heart and mind 75 year young woman.
She had raised children since the age of 15 and it was finally her time to live her life.
Heck, for her 70th birthday she got a tattoo!
But there was a problem with her life of freedom, she had a chronic lung disease called COPD, which meant she was connected to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day.
And many of the activities she loved to do, her lungs just wouldn’t allow it.
We knew it was time to prepare but how could we celebrate her life, instead of planning for her death?
I realized, after my “young and dumb” phase, my Mom was a wise woman and I still had many things to learn and discover about her.
She had lived long enough to see her grandkids arrive and watch them grow for a few short years but her biggest fear was that her grandkids wouldn’t remember her.
It broke her heart to even consider it.
My Mom loved to write letters, cards and eventually emails.
We decided that she could write a story about her life.
She not only captured stories about her life but she also told about hard lessons she learned, failures and triumphs.
The story ended up being the essence of everything that made her who she was.
Since most of us don’t have the time to write a book, here are a few steps that you can take to begin capturing your family’s legacies today for yourself, your parents or even grandparents.
How to get started with creating your family’s legacy
- Decide on who you want to interview. Consider anyone that is older or fighting a chronic illness. They should be on the top of your list
- Share your intentions about creating a family legacy. Invite everyone to join in and contribute. This is something that is invaluable for you and future generations.
- Schedule time to talk – I’ve found it’s easiest to ask questions opposed to asking someone to talk about themselves, which is really hard to do!
- Interview your person. I personally love video with my smartphone but that may not be an option for many people. You can have a conversation in person, on the phone or write it down with pen and paper. I wish I would have had videos of my Mom, then the kids could watch her talk and listen to her. But the written word is also valuable.
- Share it with others. You can share what you captured online, on Facebook or email. You can even post videos on YouTube or Google Photos. All of these options are free and relatively easy.
Here are a few sample interview questions:
- Which 3 words describe you?
- Tell me about your dreams as a child?
- Do you have any values or traditions are important to pass down?
- What would you tell your 20 year old self about (love, life, family, etc)?
Don't make this harder than it has to be.
Start with one person and one question.
You can make up your own or use the ones we have here.
If you would like a step by step guide on how to do this on your own, please provide your name and email below and you will be on your way to giving your loved ones a priceless gift.
Creating your legacy is something that will be special for everyone, especially for the generations yet to come!
If you have questions, you can email Bethanie at Bethanie@JoinMemento.com.