History

6.06.2010

Next weekend, my brother, sister and I are all meeting at our parents house in Lewes, Delaware to do something we've never done before; we are going to capture our parents' oral history, on video. This would have been a must-do on my list regardless of current happenings, mostly because of my love of StoryCorps and stories in general, but given the current situation brewing in our family, we feel the need to go ahead and get their experiences and reflections on the record.

I guess that's what's meant by what my mom calls "the gift of cancer". This is in no way happening because we feel like dad is dying; rather, this is our reaction to the "gift of cancer". The gift is merely a wake-up call; a voice over a mega-phone saying: WAKE UP - LIFE IS PRECIOUS - TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EACH AND EVERY MOMENT. And so we are.

I am a curious being by nature. Many of my friends will confirm this; I ask questions like nobody business. And my mom loves this about me. She frequently says, "I wish I would have asked my mom that question" -- her mom passed away years ago. That only fuels my curiosity about my own parents, knowing that they still have unanswered questions. And so as I prepare for the oral history next weekend, I find myself curious about you. What questions would you ask your own parents? I know that some of you have lost parents and some of you still have two parents, if not more. What questions would you ask?

Here is a sampling of the questions I have:

- What was it like to grow up in the 50's and 60's?
- What events and experiences shaped you?
- How did you meet?
- What was it like to get married?
- What was it like to have your first child?
- What was it like to lose your first child?
- So many questions about historical events
- What was it like to have two trouble-maker boys and then two angelic daughters ;)
- How have they sustained a healthy marriage for 44 years?
- What was it like to lose their own parents?
- What are their words of wisdom?

And so much more. What would you ask your own parents? Or, as parents, what memories or things about you would you want you children and grandchildren to know?

Thanks for any input you have - I'll let you know how it goes.