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Sharing Stories, Sharing Life

Adults 50+

Middle-aged Adults

Young Adults

By Elaine Guerrazzi | September 23, 2019

“Because stories are forgotten if left untold.” unknown

Chasing white squirrels because Dad said if we caught one, we could keep it.

Providing numerous opportunities to gain an appreciation for yardwork.

The brownie scout experience.

Bike ride in Texas…we said turn LEFT!!

In my blog Keepsakes & Memories I stated…Keepsakes of your life are objects that mean something to you; symbolizing a snapshot of life that has personal meaning & enhances a sense of wellbeing.  Our keepsakes are our personal history and act as memory triggers.  My blog last week, Storytelling and Education, I stated that storytelling is about sharing experiences and ideas with others in an interactive engagement.  

The opening lines above are from memory books my sister and I made for our parents for their 60th birthdays.  We made a memory book with 60 memories for mom and one for dad.  The stories within the memory book is family history…the inside scoop/private jokes that only we know.  

There is also a story within the stories of the memory book.  While compiling the list of memories for the books I recall my sister and I would often have the same memories. The more interesting aspect of creating the list for the books was when our perspective of these same memories would differ. The resulting conversation generated more stories and memories.  Also, as we “gathered” our memories we would say to each other “I don’t remember that” which led to another story.  The stories for the books became more robust as details of our shared experiences unfolded.

Ronquillo (2018) states, “each moment in life, however mundane, can be a story worth telling, because sharing stories isn’t just about relaying information. It’s about sharing life with others…”  She continues, “the continuous telling and retelling of stories keeps bonds strong and memories alive in ways that even photographs or records can’t, because when we tell them, they grow with us.”

The memory book is a keepsake…we could forget the stories behind these lines if we leave them untold. A great family story probably does not have just one point; there are multiple layers to the meaning of each story.  Listening to and telling stories share a common history with family and friends. The outcome of sharing stories improves quality of life.  Stories are powerful tools to stimulate the mind and the body.  Sharing, reminiscing, and reflecting on the stories of your life is a collection worth exploring.

Barnier & Van Bergen (2014) state, “our memories provide a database of evidence for events we have experienced and what they mean to us.”

Here is one example of an organization helping families tell their story.

FamilySearch is a nonprofit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations. Their #52Stories blog includes articles such as:

Preserving Family Memories: Real Life Success Stories 

How Family Stories Shape Our Identities

Keeping the Stories of Family Heirlooms Alive

In 2016 FamilySearch provided resources with their #52 Stories project to inspire telling your story.  I share this information with my readers to show an example of how to tell your story.  

So, what’s your story????

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