If you’re anything like me, you are probably wondering what the new year will bring. Let’s face it, 2018 was a tough one for many people across the world. The were so many losses in the past year and most recently the country mourned the loss of another memorable American figure.

As I watched the funeral services for President George H. W. Bush, I was touched by the many stories that were shared about him. His children, grandchildren, prior staff members, and many close friends gave us a glimpse of what he was like as a father, grandfather, leader, and as a friend.

I’ll admit I went through a lot of tissues as I watched his family and friends say their goodbyes and listened to the loving remembrances they all shared. It was sad, it was funny at times, and it reminded me of memories of my own childhood. It also reminded me that time is running out to learn more about my own mother before her memory is stolen by Alzheimer’s.

A friend shared with me about a great way to gather more stories about those we love and cherish by using StoryWorth. Her best friend started using this service to learn more about her father.

StoryWorth was started in 2012 by a former Google software engineer who wanted to learn more about his own parents’ past experiences. He sent them weekly questions by email about their earliest childhood memories.

Their responses provided many wonderful memories and he developed this great way to document them and create cherished keepsakes.

The online service provides a large list of questions that can be sent to your family member on a weekly basis. The responses are emailed to you for your reading pleasure and later transformed into a keepsake book at the end of the year.

Sample questions StoryWorth includes are:

  1. What is your best advice when it comes to raising children?
  2. What places would you revisit over and over again?
  3. What was your favorite lunch to bring to school?
  4. What would you save if your house was on fire?
  5. What was your parents’ relationship like?

As I reflect back, I wish I knew more about my grandparents and my father. I plan to learn as much as I can about my mom before time runs out. This year, I’m going to take the time to chat with my mother about her favorite things she did as a child, what it was like riding on the train with her dad, or what was the best thing her grandmother cooked.

What a simple idea that can provide many new and wonderful memories! So, as we start a New Year consider getting to know your family better by asking them a few questions. Whether you purchase a gift through StoryWorth, or collect answers from loved ones on your own, you’ll be happy you did.

Trust me, as a health advocate who spends time with families who are seeking health care options for elderly family members, I hear a lot of people sharing memories of their loved ones and some who I know would’ve loved to have these storybooks to share with generations to come.

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