EDITORIAL: Capture family histories
Nov 19, 2012 (St. Joseph News-Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
This Thanksgiving can be all about you. Or at least about your family.
Families across the region will gather to share food, laughter and memories. This makes it the ideal time to preserve history and why November is designated as Family History Month and Lifewriting Month.
We encourage your family to observe both, along with enjoying some turkey dinner and giving thanks.
Collecting your family's medical history can be vital tool for healthy living. Genetics are one of the most important factors for problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Getting the information down on paper could help you or your children make important decisions about health care with the facts, not guesses.
You can even put the data on file with your doctor in case of emergency. Just talking about your family medical history can help spur healthier choices.
Still, heart attacks and chronic diseases aren't the only thing worth recording. So are memories and milestones that make up a life.
As your family starts sharing stories this holiday -- familiar accounts or ones never heard before -- we urge you to record them. This can be as simple as reaching for a notebook and pencil, but you also have other options.
Technology makes it easier than ever to preserve history. Even a cell phone can be used to make a video or audio recording. Getting teens and children involved in recording the story can bring the generations together.
We believe everyone has a story to tell and the lives of ordinary Americans are the most compelling. Soleil Lifestory Network suggests starting with a memory list, as long or short as you like, of important events and relationships. From there, write what you'd like to share. It may be the most mundane things that future generations or even your children find the most interesting.
For a rewarding experience, set aside time for these activities. Make it all about you and your family.
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