Capturing Grandpa’s Stories

Last year for Father’s Day my siblings and I signed my grandpa up for a service called Story Worth. It is a neat online tool that sends an email to a specified storyteller with a prompt question on a regular basis – ours is set for weekly. The idea is that they would write a reply to this email and the site would hold on to it until the storyteller has answered a specified amount of questions. Once they reply to all the questions, the site will put them into the form of a book so you can cherish your family history for years.
This is a super fun idea, right? My grandpa had been talking about how he wanted to write out some of his stories, so when I saw a coupon for this site, I thought that we should go for it!
What a great idea! Every person should sit down and soak in some of their family history and get to know their parents and grandparents such an intimate level.
But, here’s the thing, my grandpa is not really tech savvy. I mean, there is a post-it note on his computer with instructions on how to check his email. One step is “click the blue e.” I’m not joking here. This is an actual thing.
So, we bought him this gift that, well, he probably won’t ever use. Good idea, but maybe we should have thought it through a little more.
Now that he has been getting these emails for months (and never checking them), I had an idea: maybe we could together on a regular basis and he could tell me the stories as I type them out. And, so far so good. Great actually.
Really, we have only been able to get together once for the story telling, but it was wonderful. I loved being able to listen to his stories while blessing him with my ability to capture them for future generations.
I cried while listening and then later on my drive home. The way he remembered small details of his childhood and his description of his wedding day truly moved me. It’s beautiful.
[The most romantic moment in my life was] when I saw your grandma coming down that aisle. And how pretty she was.
Our wedding was on a Sunday afternoon. I went to church myself that morning and your grandmother didn’t. The minister had me over for dinner because they knew I would just be on the road anyways.
My brothers and I were in our rented tuxedos, which was the norm for the day. White coats and black pants. I remember getting to the church at least a half hour before service. We followed tradition, the bride and groom not seeing each other before service.
I remember standing in front of Grace Lutheran Church at 2 o’clock on Sunday afternoon and seeing my bride come down the aisle on the arm of her father and seeing her for the first time in her wedding dress, it took my breath away. What a wonderful sight.
It was a pretty hot day that day and there as was thunderstorm coming up. Your great grandma said there was a flash of lightning when I said I do, but I don’t believe that.
Either way, I was hooked for life.
It was while I was messaging my husband right after my grandpa left when it struck me that everyone should have an experience like this. Every person should sit down and soak in some of their family history and get to know their parents and grandparents such an intimate level. Even if they were not making a book, even if they didn’t even write the story down, it would still make a great experience.
I would challenge you to invite a grandparent out for coffee or just get together with them while the baby naps and listen. Come prepared with some questions and, if you are going to keep the memory, a laptop.
If you are needing some good story prompts, you can start here.
  • Have you ever won something?
  • What stories have you been told about yourself as a baby?
  • What was one of the most romantic moments in your life?
  • Tell me about one of the best days you can remember.
  • What was your first job? What was your favorite job?
  • Are you more like your father or mother? In what ways?
  • What is one of your favorite trips that you’ve taken? What made it great?
My goal is to capture the story exactly how he said it. I want future readers to feel like my grandpa is telling them the story, like he is sitting right there with them. I prompt for as much detail as he can give. Generally he can give me the name of most people in the stories, which just makes the stories that much more real.
After your first meeting, if you think you’d like putting more stories together in a book, check out Story Worth. The site has a whole long list of questions you can choose from, which helps keep things simple. You can also add your own.
What a great idea! Every person should sit down and soak in some of their family history and get to know their parents and grandparents such an intimate level.
If you decide to check out Story Worth, use this link to get 20% off.
I am very glad we decided to make the purchase last year and I look forward to hearing more of my grandpa’s stories.
** Contains helpful affiliate links.
What a sweet Father's Day gift. This is something that he can really use and the family will love the stories.
What a great idea! Every person should sit down and soak in some of their family history and get to know their parents and grandparents such an intimate level.

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