I am now aged. Although my accumulation of years is obvious, what is not as apparent is the inner changes that are taking place. My interests, abilities, and expectations are all undergoing revision. I feel an urgent need to define the new me: Time is running out! Is there anything now that I can be a part of and that could be of value to present and future generations? What must I do? What am I able to do? What do I want to do?
Taking the easy route, I decide that what I want to do is apt to be what I can do best. The answer, then, is easy, too: I will be a custodian of family history, of the stories that reflect both the everyday lives and the dreams of people I have known and loved. Recording those stories will be the invaluable ingredient.
For centuries, the history of a family or a people was passed down in the only way possible: orally. Person to person, generation by generation, the precious stories were told, memorized, and passed on. Now, I can take my pick of recording methods, using one or all: books and pictures, videos, and computers.
But it is all storytelling, and the old oral tradition can still be a part of it. Whenever my family gathers, in the midst of the laughter and fun, I will “remember when,” sharing the stories I know. Passed on with love, these memories will be part of what binds the family together, today and tomorrow.