When we think of ultimate gifts we think of empowering experiences, something so cherished it will never be forgotten and even greater, a gift that keeps on giving. When we think of a mother, we think of the ultimate gift giver – giver of her time, her labour, her love. Mother’s Day is a time to reflect on what mum has done for us. And she deserves something special right?
One of the ultimate ways to honour her is the gift of documenting her life story. Not just to validate her very being, but as the ultimate legacy gift to future generations. Your children. Your children’s children.
Why You Need To Capture Mum’s Memories
We’ve become obsessed. Obsessed with capturing and recording each moment of our lives, but mostly through superficial means. We even hear people jokingly say, “If you didn’t post about it on Instagram, did it even happen?” This might be said in jest, but the reality is we’ve traded face-to-face interaction for brief digital exchanges and true storytelling for a social media highlights reel.
And we maintain many of our family connections through the flawless lens of our social media profiles. Our chaotic lives are often too busy to connect with our loved ones and share the kind of generational storytelling that once was. Family tales told around the campfire or shared over an unhurried Sunday lunch.
When you think about the stories you inherited from your mum or grandmother, they’ll likely be a collection that impart knowledge or wisdom, stories that inspire, stories that help you understand where your family comes from, where you come from. But how much do you really know about your mum’s life story? And what stories will your own children have of her?
Sharing a life story of a loved one is the ultimate gift to future generations. More people than ever seem to be researching their own family's history. People want to know where they came from. In fact, university studies show that children profoundly benefit from projects like these. Children who come from families that talk about their history, that know their stories, have much higher levels of emotional wellbeing. Stories ground them. Stories give them a sense of identity through time. They let them know where they fit in within their family. They let them know where they came from.
Secondly, the psychological benefits for the storyteller are also well documented. Although some people feel they haven't lived a particularly exciting life, as the process begins and they start reflecting on their lives, they realise there are many stories worth passing on. The experience validates their being. It can give them a sense of a life really well lived. By finding their voice and telling their story, they in turn empower themselves.
How To Capture Your Mum’s Life Story
Capturing your mum’s story – collating photographs, memorabilia, artefacts and documents can take organisation and patience. The good news is there are professional companies who help with this. But what's the best way of preserving and presenting them? Historically people have written their stories and presented them in a published book. Whilst writing memories down is an obvious place to start, talking is usually easier. And video is the only medium that truly captures the authenticity of a person. The way a person tells a story is so much a part of the story itself. Their particular turn of phrase, their unique voice, their distinct mannerisms. The reality is, future generations will also be far more engaged and interested in watching an on-screen film on their device. And as technology advances it's important to ensure mum’s legacy, her life story, is captured in the most up-to-date way, so it can be shared easily no matter where family are across the globe.
Just as a photograph fades over time, so do memories. So making an investment in mum now, capturing her stories in the most profound way, is not just the ultimate gift to her, but to your very own family and their future generations.
Keltie Lane is the founder of Life Story Productions, a boutique Sydney-based company creating autobiographical life story documentaries and business story content. She is also proud mum to her favourite productions, children Billie and Charlie.