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Topic: How to avoid memories getting lost...  (Read 1027 times)

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How to avoid memories getting lost...
« on: July 21, 2014, 04:47:00 PM »
Hello, I'm marrying my fiancé in December, taking another step towards becoming a "real" expat. Mixed emotions - I love my fiancé more than words and cannot wait to spend my life with him.. but the idea of being so far away from my family is honestly really hard. I have two questions -

at what point in time do you feel it's the hardest to be away from your family, and how do you deal?

As for the next one - a friend of mine set up this website called Storyworth. Simply put, you sign up and ask older family members to be your "storytellers." Once a week, they would get an email asking them to tell a story about a specific topic (who were your best friends when you were ten, when did you decide to have children, and so on).

I feel like this is such a wonderful (and not overwhelming, we're all busy..) thing that will eventually build a whole library of memories, written by your loved ones! For those of us living oceans apart, it's a beautiful gesture and I know most "storytellers" love being asked and love telling a story once a week. Everything is stored securely and can only be viewed by you and, if you choose, up to five more people in your family.

My second question is if any of you would be willing to take a look and see if this would be something that you, as an expat, would be interested in using. It is 100 % free the first month and only after that will you be asked to pay with a credit card IF you want to continue. Please, do not see this as spam! I'm not trying to sell you anything! I honestly just think it's something that can make keeping relationships alive even when you're far apart. The website is newcomer link: https://www.storyworth.com/friend/10-percent [nonactive] (that's how you get 10 percent off)

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Re: How to avoid memories getting lost...
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 02:55:14 PM »
I think the hard times are not the obvious ones like holidays but the times when parents are aging or you yourself are starting a family. 

Storyworth seems like a good idea but from the point of view of the 'older' family member it could get a bit daunting.  Don't think I'd want to produce an essay every week on an assigned topic!  What my cousins and I have done is set up a family 'group' on facebook.  We found we were sending each other photos of family get togethers from our childhood so this seemed the best way to share them with all the cousins.  I seem to have inherited most of the family albums and, as the oldest involved, I have more memories.  But we all post things, ask each other if we remember an event or person, share photos and so on.  The younger generation is also included and they seem to like learning about their 'ancestors'!

I've taken oral histories from older folks and have found that, while they may have wonderful memories, they tend to get tongue-tied and stiff when confronted with direct questions or topics.  Storyworth may well work with the right kind of people however.  Good luck with it.
Married and moved to UK 1974
Returned to US 1995
Irish citizenship June 2009
    Irish passport September 2009 
Retirement July 2012
Leeds in 2013!
ILR (Long Residence) 22 March 2016

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Re: How to avoid memories getting lost...
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 06:29:05 PM »
That makes sense. A facebook group is a good idea. I find that Facebook really helps when I feel homesick. Yes, some people might argue that it's all lunch pics and babies, but it does make me feel as though I'm not missing out on the daily life back home.

As for the hard times, I can already relate to that. I'm dreading the idea of not having my mom close by for every day interaction once my fiancé and I start a family.

I, too, agree with the tongue tied-ness when confronted with direct questions. That's why I figured that if you give them a week to edit and think it through, it wouldn't feel as confrontational. Very good point though. Thank you!

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Re: How to avoid memories getting lost...
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2014, 03:15:22 AM »
I try to step back and look at the big picture. Life changes all the time. I am 40 and fiance is 48. Parents do not live forever. Yes, I love my parents and family  (cousins, aunts uncles) and was raised with them next door my whole life, but I also want my own family to make memories with.  You do have to step out of your comfrt zone a bit.
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