The GraceTime Project By Dan Stark
All my life we have been blessed with a wonderful family whom were rich in heritage with some really great story tellers. And yes they had some really great stories to tell about our family’s heritage. Experiences and lessons they learned along their way. While one tries to soak up all these wonderful stories and lessons in their youth, it really isn’t until midlife that the value of these gifts is realized.
When father passed and the family gathered, these old stories started to surface again. The young were delighted and surprised as they had not experienced the story treasures that the older set now took for granite.
However, it was noticed among the many, that there were variations of these stories. Some of the older folks had forgotten the details. Some didn’t remember at all. The youth, it seemed, were awakened with a thousand questions about who, what and where these people / experiences occurred.
It has occurred to many, that they should have written these stories down. At the very least do a voice recording? Digital story telling has become popular, affordable and is a process many of us should be able to master. It is a great way to create a story about your family and make it available for the extended family and the connected world to see.
We all end up saying.. Golly, I wish somebody would have saved those stories some way, written them down or something. Or, I wish they would have told us or written down who the folks in these pictures are! Are the pictures about who we were related to? We all have regrets about information we will never know after they are gone. Yet, nobody seems to take the time to do it. The GraceTime Project service was invented just for this purpose.
After 10 years of assisting families in recording individual video interviews, creating memorials and doing on the spot product interviews, it has been surprising to know that thousands of folks from all walks of life come to see and learn from these recordings. Yes, thousands.
When my father’s memorial video project was started it was quickly realized that there were very few pictures, no recordings and short memories. It was then, that the seeds of The GraceTime Project were planted. A project to somehow organize, save and maybe even publish those memories. How do you do that?
I admire the Memories are Forever.net website as it challenges us to write down those memories or stories and thoughts most dear to us. Whether it is about self or a loved one, the very smart thing to do is catch all of the individual’s life, experiences and memories while they are still alive and able to share! By doing so, your loved ones will have access to all your published memories in the saving and publishing of stories, pictures, Video, family information and real facts. No one knows the stories, experiences and lessons of their life better than the individual your loved ones want to know.
During my last ten yen years of semi-retirement, One of the experiments to find out who really cares about the experiences and memories of others (or someone they may or may not know), was to do interviews at the Good Samaritan senior living center in Olathe, KS. This was done seven years ago. I thought that perhaps the families / grandchildren of these individuals would appreciate having access to these loved ones / individuals thoughts etc. Didn’t think at the time there would be much viewing activity once the interviews were published. I was just sure that it would be similar to attending a funeral that displayed pictures, artifacts and other. And after the event all would go their way and most would be forgotten! Wrong!
While all interviews were of interest and reminded me of my wonderful Aunts, one of the subjects (as an example), Rose Erington, interviewed October 2007, To my surprise, after all this time, her interview is still popular (google.. mygracetime + Rose Erington). 7,737 views to date.
Some of the stories collected and published have collected over ten thousand views! (http://www.lifeandstory.org/media/topvideos.html)
Reading, watching, listening to and telling stories is how we learn about who we are and who we want to be. Your memories are important too!