I am elated, today I finished taking a video of my father giving me his life story from his early childhood up to when he came to Australia from Czechoslavakia. He arrived here in 1951. Speaking in English with his Czech lilt and sometimes (but not often) pausing to remember details, he spoke over two sessions (over 2 days) the total being 4.5 hours.
We did have a break today in which I took them out to lunch at a nearby Cafe and we took a very slow and gentle walk along the strip of shops afterwards in the brilliant sunshine. Mum held dads hand I held his as the three of us ambled our way along the pavement. To see my parents now and remember them being able to walk in a brisk and sprightly manner made me a little downcast. Fortunately they are trying to keep their humour up by saying, “Don’t ever get old girl it’s a bugger”. To which I can only laugh my reply “I’m on my way Pop”.
When I brought them back home, it was mums turn to tell me of her life in England, Rochdale where she grew up, she was quite panic-stricken before hand saying she had nothing she could say, or wouldn’t be able to remember, but it was magical to start the video rolling and to listen to her suddenly remembering her past.
This is a moment in history that I can hand down. My children’s children and theirs will be able to see them, hear them and listen to their life stories. I am so pleased I took the time and for them to agree. As this is my keepsake of them and for generations of our family to come.
Conclusion: If you can take the time to do this – please do, I am sure you will not regret it.