Who are you? Where'd you come from? What's your story?
We are all someone. We all come from someplace. We all share history with others. What's your story?
As a child I was always fascinated by who I was and where I had come from. As life goes on and time passes by this fascination is becoming a need. A need to understand who I am, where I came from and what my story is. I used to love to sit and listen to my "Grampy" (Julian S.Hunt, Sr. pictured below with his best friend and love Grace) tell me about this aunt or that, this cousin or that one. He shared a family history that spanned generations. One that could be traced back to the original European settlers of Massachusetts. I of course had no idea who these people were except for his referencing them in a brief story. However his stories always took on more meaning and stuck with me longer if there were photographs or letters or anything that they had touched or tools they worked with or any other everyday item that was specific to them and marked their having ever been alive.
Now with so many years past and Grampy not here to share those stories with me and my children, those people are lost to us and our family. But, what can one do about that? How can you overcome the passage of time and prevent your history from being lost? You can preserve your family's history by displaying it. Frame it and display it. Put it out on for all to see. For your children and grandchildren, parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Encourage your family to discuss their ancestors and share in their history.
In an age where we live and document our lives on mobile devices and take countless pictures that NEVER get seen again it is important to identify those things that are important to us and our history and put them on display for all to see. Especially our children. They need to know who they are, where they came from and what their story is.
This year at holiday time consider giving a family member the gift of "their story". Pull that old photo of Mom and Dad out of the shoe box in the attic, have it restored, frame it and share it with your family.
These recently restored photos (above) of my "Grampa" Harry N. Gaston and "Gram" Joan T. Gaston are just a few that remain of them from this time in their lives. Prior to their being restored you could hardly make out their features. Now, there is no doubt, we are family. When I had the chance to share these with my children they could not believe how much they resemble their great grandparents in appearance. They immediately connected with their story. When I presented these framed together to my father last Christmas he too we re-connected to his story.
Of course like everyone there are so many more people that help me tell my story, but sadly I don't have too many physical things to remember them by. Preserve what you can. You and many others will be so very glad you did.
What better way to share your story for generations to come than preserving photographs, birth certificates, marriage licenses, letters, hand tools, eye glasses jewelry, pocket watches or other important items that tell YOUR STORY or the stories of your family loved ones.