On the Road Collecting Family Life Stories

My three week trip to the Midwest is over and I’m back in Staunton with tons of Life Story Videos to work on.

Usually, my Life Story clients are people I don’t know well.  In some cases I have only met them the day before. But this trip was to do Life Stories with several relatives and to record interviews for a video about my sister who died 9 years ago. 

I was a little nervous about doing the Life Stories with my brother and sister-in-law.  We had to lay out some ground rules.I needed to know in advance what parts of their lives they were interested in talking about.

My sister-in-law had recently lost both her best friend and her brother’s wife.  So it was important to allow her time to talk about them…not just in grief, but the joyful memories too.

My brother and I had never talked extensively about his tour in Vietnam.  But he did spend time talking about it in his Life Story and I am sure his children are going to appreciate the stories.  Who knows, it may open the door for them to talk more about it one-on-one!

Connie & Diane with family members

Connie & Diane with family members

I also interviewed 15 relatives about my sister, Diane.  This is a different kind of Life Story.   This Life Story is for her grandsons who will never know her because they were too little or not yet born when she died of colon cancer in 2004. I plan to put the interviews together with photos and music. 

My sister’s death had a profound impact on my family.  I and some of my siblings live much more for today now that we have seen close up how quickly and painfully our loved ones can be taken from us.  It was good to see them enjoying their lives, their children, and their grandchildren so fully.

Coming up:  My interview with my godmother just before she was diagnosed with cancer.