You’ve gone through the gut-wrenching process of downsizing and moving to a new home. Now that everything is settled, you seem to have a ton of time on your hands. We have a suggestion for what you could do with that time. You do this one thing for your descendants and you will endear yourself to them for generations.
What is that thing? Write.
We cannot tell you how many times we have gone through boxes of stuff left behind by deceased relatives, stuff that cannot be identified in terms of possession, family history, and the like. We are talking everything from family photographs to antiques that have been sitting in the basement for years.
All that time you have on your hands can be put to very good use by writing things down. Not only will writing preserve memories for posterity, it will also help you relive some of the best days of your life. You will get as much joy from recording your memories as your descendants will from reading them.
Label Those Pictures
One of the first things we recommend is that you take the time to go through all those family photos and label them. More than one family member with a genealogical bent has been driven crazy looking through stacks of photos with no names on them. Do not leave that legacy to your children and grandchildren.
Write down names, places, dates, etc. as you best remember them. And even if you are wrong about some of the finer details, the information you leave behind will steer your descendants in the right direction.
Write Down Your Own Story
A couple of generations from now, there may be a young person or two in your family who would love to know who you were in life. Your great-great-grandchildren may want to know things like:
- where and when you were born;
- what life was like as grew up;
- what your first job was; and
- how you met your spouse.
Those stories are integral to the fabric that makes up your family history. Share them with your descendants by writing them down. If you can combine your stories with photographs and other family keepsakes, they will be even more real to your descendants down the road.
Write Down Your Hopes for the Future
There is something to be said about leaving a legacy to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In some religious traditions, leaving a legacy is accomplished by writing down one’s hopes for the future, often in the form of a blessing. Doing this for your descendants could be more important to them than you know.
You may hope for a future in which your great-great-grandchildren inherit the family homestead and the business you and your spouse worked so hard to build. Write it down. You may hope for a future in which all your grandchildren go to college and get a degree. Write that down, too.
Let your descendants know your hopes and dreams. They may end up having the same hopes and dreams, and fulfilling them after being motivated by you.
Have you got time to kill after completing your downsizing? If so, put that time to use by blessing your descendants. Write down everything you can. Leave a record behind that future generations will cherish. It is a great way to carry on a lasting family legacy.