Saturday, August 2, 2008

Interview Your Parents

My father on a recent trip through the Deutsche Wine Strasse (German Wine Street) and France

As my father’s visit is drawing to a close I was thinking about what I still wanted to do before he left and I got to thinking that it might be a good time to ask some of those questions that you think about later in life and wish that you had asked. Since my mother passed away a few years back, I’m not able to ask those questions to her.

Because my father lives an ocean away (and a good eight plus hours by plane), I don’t usually see him that often, but I have been fortunate enough to have seen him a few times in the last couple of years. My family has also been fortunate that he survived a heart attack and has recovered nicely from bypass surgery in October 2007. When I’m talking to him on the phone I wouldn’t think to ask these things, so I’m hoping to ask him some questions before he goes back next week.

Below are some of the questions that I’d like to ask. You could use some of them to interview your parent(s). I have a couple of friends that have lost both of their parents at a pretty young age, so you never know how much time you’ll really have with your parent(s), so why not take the time to interview them? The questions below aren’t exhaustive, so there may be a whole different set of questions that you would ask based on their interests, job, life history, or other considerations. Maybe your parent(s) moved to where they live now from another country. Maybe your father served in a war or had some other major life experience. The reality probably is that there is more to your parent(s) than you realize and this could be a good chance to uncover such things. The questions below are all kind of starters, so they’ll hopefully lead to some stories and probably more questions.

  • What is your earliest memory?
  • Do you remember your fist day of school?
  • Can you tell me the story about me about how your met Mom?
  • Can you tell me about your wedding day?
  • What is your favorite memory of your parents?
  • What is your favorite memory of your grandparents?
  • What are you proudest of in your life?
  • What was it like at the dinner table when you were a kid? It should be noted that my dad had five brothers and three sisters.
  • What was your favorite thing that your mom used to cook?
  • What kind of things did you like to do as a kid?
  • What did you dream of being when you grew up?
  • What was your first favorite song/group/band?
  • What is the first movie that you remember?
  • Who was your first best friend?
  • When did you go to your first baseball/football/hockey game? Do you remember who played?
  • Are there any lessons that you’d like to pass on to your kids and grandkids?
  • Do you have a favorite teacher?
  • Did you have a favorite priest/pastor?
  • Who do you most admire?
  • What is the cheapest that you remember gasoline costing?
  • What was your first car?
  • Who is the first president that you remember?
  • When did your interest in the stock market first hit you?
  • What kind of things did you used to do as a kid?

While I hope to squeeze this in somewhere over the next few days before my dad leaves, I hope that you get a chance to do this as well. Knowing that I’m not able to interview my mother, I certainly don’t wish to miss that opportunity to do so with my dad. After interviewing your parent(s), maybe you might want to do something similar to some of the older prominent family members, if any of your grandparents are alive, or that favorite aunt or uncle of yours. This can be a nice legacy or heirloom for your kids. Have you interviewed your parent(s)? If you have any other comments, I’d love to hear them. If you liked this article, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS or email, share it on or on Digg and pass it on to anyone that you think might appreciate it. Thank you. :)

On Deck…

I’ll be publishing posts about…

  • The next in my series of weight loss strategies
  • My next Spotlight on the web.
  • The next of my dating and relationship tips
  • More on productivity, web 2.0, social networking, family, parenting, health, and other things that you can use.

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