Family history in a voice recording was the desired Legacy.
Dad asked his mother to record her life story. He left a recorder and tapes so she could record as long as she wanted. He retrieved the tapes and long after she passed, he began to listen. Her voice ebbed, flowed and the volume was never loud enough to discern what grandma was saying. It seems that grandma would turn the machine on and walk around her home while telling her story. He stored the precious vibrations in his special top drawer of his dresser with her photograph and his “valuables”.
Years later I approached Dad with a tape recorder and a handful of tapes.
Dad loved to relax in his recliner. Dad had recorded his voice many times. I asked if he would record his life’s story? He said, “sure son”. I laid the recorder on his table by the recliner and drove home. After Dad was gone, I opened the top drawer, there was the tape, labeled “mother” and 4 tapes in my handwriting that said “Dad”.
The tapes were blank! Mom told my sisters that there was no greater story teller or inspirational minister than Dad, but while alone, he just didn’t know how to start or what to say…
At the Friday night Rummy game, 2 sisters, two daughters and a cousin sat at the round kitchen table to laugh, spread rumors, lie and complement each other’s lies. My Aunt said, “I’d give anything to hear mother’s voice again!” Her sister said, “So would I!” The inspiration to ask them a question to solve a problem I had observed, was formed! “Would it matter what your mother was saying or are you really saying you just want to hear that familiar sound of her voice?” The duet of sisters spoke as one, “It wouldn’t matter what Mom would say as long as we could hear that it was her!”
I finally knew the solution to why Dad’s tapes were blank.
If I had written an outline that I knew of his life, he would read it to the recorder
and fill in the blanks that I had left out! Dad would have asked for more tapes.
Just like old times at the family supper table, the game stopped, and the daughters came alive with questions for the mothers. “How did you and Dad meet? Where did you meet? Tell us about your parents, where did they come from?” Finally, there was a lull, and the question came boldly, “Mom if you don’t record your story now, my children will never be able to pass on the history and your legacy of this family!” There was silence as the game and conversation had come to a permanent stop.
One of the grandson’s had stopped playing his video game when he heard the commotion and questions, from his room. “Hey Mom!” he called out, “There was a news article on Facebook today that is perfect for grandma and while you are at it, perfect for you too!” A place where you can record your voice for free, they’ll store it in the cloud and your great, great grandchildren that are not even born yet will be able to listen to your stories and your voice. It’s called LegacyToo.com
With TV, videos, games and dine out, there is little time to sit as a family and recount family history. With that in mind, it is no wonder, why, within two generations of our departure our names will barely be remembered. Unless we record these memories as a permanent record, the accounts of how our lives that shaped the future of the entire family will be lost forever.
The sound of your voice is the source of a legacy of love. No one says it better than you. Say it now, Our Voice is Time Sensitive! Stories can be enjoyed now and long after the voice is stilled.