When our three daughters were babies, we began a book of letters for each of them to be presented on graduation day. Each year we pulled out the scrapbook and wrote a new letter detailing how they had grown, projects they were involved in, and words of wisdom we wanted to impart to them. Each entry also included an age appropriate picture of them with friends or family.
To add to the remembrance book, we asked the children’s grandparents to write a letter to each granddaughter to share bits of advice with them and lessons they had learned in life. We placed this in the book along with a picture of each grandparent.
Later, we asked each grandparent if we could videotape them telling us about their growing up years, education, testimony, romance, marriage, and ministry. We even did this with Chuck’s grandmother, which would be our children’s great-grandmother. My, the stories she had to share! Now that she is gone, as well as all four grandparents, the letters and videos are all the more meaningful.
Recording the grandparents’ words through letters and media has been one of the most beneficial ways we have preserved our family heritage, and it’s easy to do. When we think of our parents’ contribution in our children’s lives, we are reminded of a verse from the Bible found in Hebrews 11:4, “. . . . and by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”
Words spoken or written have the power to speak to a young person’s heart long after the family member is dead. In this way, memories are kept alive and stories and lessons are passed down from one generation to another.