The Future of Memories

Dee and Josh Halverson share memories.

Heritage Associates collects memories for a reason. Author Dave Eggers said, "The reasons for writing a memoir are many, but there is one that trumps all others: You should write your story because you will someday die, and without your story on paper, most of it will be forgotten."

Museums, art galleries, universities, libraries—much of what we want to leave the coming generation consists of accumulated facts, truth, and wisdom. Yet, we're strangely casual about informing our kids about their own families. The family group sheets might list hundreds of names and dates and hometowns, marriages and children. But beyond these skeletal details, there is no other record of former lives. And so these people, their experience, voice and knowledge, are lost to us. A sampling of their memories was presumably passed to their children, and then a faded version of that sketch was passed to the next generation. From there people are reduced to names, dates and cemeteries. What they felt and wanted and saw is gone.

This past weekend the W. Dee Halverson family celebrated its beginnings. Dee, Marty, seven children and their spouses gathered to commemorate birthdays and a 40th wedding anniversary. Memories were retold and love renewed. It was a reminder that if parents and grandparents want their descendants to know their stories, they need to be written down.

Heritage Associates specializes in assisting clients compile a comprehensive and readable family history. Putting that extra bit of effort into it, collecting the perfect images, carving here and chipping there, planning a bit before and editing a bit after, might ensure that your story is not only read dutifully by a few relatives, but is enjoyed enthusiastically by anyone who might find it. It is the heritage only you can give them.

Celebrate your beginnings.