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Who?

Every person who cherishes their family and values the experiences of their beloved elders would benefit from using personal biography services.  

A personal history gives recognition to your elder’s experiences and journey through life. In doing so it provides an opportunity not only to share their life story, but their gained knowledge as well as valuable life lessons learned.  

These shared experiences and life lessons often influence not only immediate generations but those of the future as well.  With this knowledge comes understanding. Personal Histories ensure the preservation of the legacy of family, its’ traditions, legends and lore.  

 

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Why?

There are many reasons, perhaps one of the most important is the recognition that family stories not preserved are lost forever.

Preserving life stories are the opportunity to build understanding between generations, to celebrate a life, to give value to a voice who may have experienced events that have affected many.

As a geriatric social worker for over 25 years, the favorite part of my work was learning about the life they led, how my seniors became the people they were. I wanted to know what difficulties they overcame, what sustained them during tough times, what life lessons they were willing to share.

Many years ago while doing research for a sociology class in the library, I came across a book that caught my attention. The book was not exactly related to what I was researching, but it was relevant to the work I would eventually be doing. The book described interviewing, how to do it, and the questions to ask. Quite simple, I was hooked!

I promptly cajoled my parents into telling me their life stories, while I recorded the conversations. They told me their stories over dinner on Tuesday evenings over a period of weeks. When I had completed interviewing each of them, these tapes were tucked away, but not forgotten.

Now thirty years later, these tapes are being transcribed into a book as a gift to my children, grandchildren, siblings and all future generations. I want all of them to know my parents and understand from where they came.

This book is a gift to me as well, if only to be able to remind myself how wonderful my parents really were.

Today I'm a retired geriatric social worker where every day my passion for personal histories gives me the privilege to learn about people's lives. 

My other interests include an unrelenting fascination with my grandchildren, traveling, renovating the family home, reading, bike riding, walking and trying to train my very active dog.

"You brought a consistently positive voice, filled with compassion, caring and down to earth sensibility in our work together. It was a treat to work with you. May you be blessed in your years ahead and in the work, you do." 

- D.J.

 

"Charlene, you were a delight to work with. We didn't know each other well when we began. The beginning "structured" questions led easily to more personal responses that helped me delive deeper into my expereinces and emotions. You were comfortable with my free associations of experiences that obviously meant something to me as I chose to remember them. If I was not clear, you asked for elaboration or clarification. I'd be happy to talk with any future clients about the experience."

- John