Tributes & Video Biographies
Sharing Life Stories, Connecting Generations, Preserving Legacies

Helping My Family – Where I Am Right Now

I have been blogging on four years now and I often surprise myself how much I really have to say about this subject of capturing one’s story, one’s history, for posterity. It is something that I have been passionate about since I started Legacy Multimedia in 2003 after seeing just how much film and photos and other bits of our past were floating off into oblivion in garbage dumps, recycle bins, vintage shops and other places where I would continue to find entire abandoned photo albums, cast off by well meaning estate sales managers or even family members who didn’t appreciate that there may be surviving family that would want these items.

Once you create an online presence, as I have with my blog, my Facebook Fan Page and my Twitter Feed, it becomes important to continually feed it with information my followers will find useful. I tend to write about things that I think you may not know about with a goal of educating my readers and hopefully inspiring them in the process. I often mention new techniques, equipment or software that might aid you in your own pursuit of family history, biography and/or genealogy. I will point out what others are doing; fabulous websites, blogs or other writings by people on similar paths who are articulating from their passion position. Sometimes my goal is just to remind you of opportunities to focus on your family when they are gathered, such as during the Holidays or summer picnics.

And then sometimes, I just run out of things to say. Usually it’s because I am distracted by something else going on in my life. Right now I am helping my parents transition to a residence where they will have a bit more support as they continue on in their journey through their elder years. As the eldest daughter I have often stepped into the role of helping and guiding them through processes that perhaps become more difficult as we age. So it was natural that I assume this role when it became obvious that the daily routines of caring for themselves have become more work then they are able to do.

It’s a tough process, recognizing that you can or choose to no longer do some of the tasks such as shopping, cooking and cleaning, that most of us take for granted as part of our daily routine. Then making that step to a residence where those support systems are provided. There can be feelings of loss of independence, and the fears associated with checking in for what may be your last residence. Even though my family has moved many times in my life, this move is particularly trying. As my dad says, “I’ve never moved in my 80s before!” They are watching things they’ve collected being packed up; some things will move with them, some will get sold or be given away, and others will go into storage. I’m sure it’s unnerving for them both as they approach this next phase with excitement as well as reservations.

I standby, listen to their concerns, reassure them and then tomorrow, I head out to help with the physical aspects of the move. I know in my heart that rather than losing independence, they will gain more independence, as they become free of cumbersome chores and spend out their remaining years with new friends, interesting lectures and field trips, regular exercise programs and some freedom from the constant worry about each other and their own future.

I may check in during the next couple of weeks and let you know how it’s going.

Stefani Twyford is a personal historian and video biographer sharing life stories, connecting generations and preserving legacies. To learn more, visit her web site, find her on Twitter as @stefanitwyford, visit the Legacy Multimedia Facebook Fan Page, or send her an e-mail.

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