If you were to look into an elderly person’s safe deposit box, you would find many, many stories there.
The original copies of birth certificates; copies with black backgrounds, showing microfiche. Before computers, long before electronic files, important information only backup was microfiche. It is a flat piece of film with microphotographs of pages of documents, newspapers, and other printed matter.
The births recorded were of both parents, all siblings, and one sibling who died a day after birth.
The story goes further. In those days, the mother may not see the baby, or say goodbye with touching, holding, grieving. The mother did not attend the funeral, held in a day or two. She was still in the hospital. I’m grateful we don’t do this anymore.
The story of a family disagreement; a maiden aunt buying a separate home from her sister- and brother-in-law, then the young parents of the baby who died, purchasing a home Land Contract, and staying there for over 74 years. What a legacy.
Other items of business may include old CDs, old IRAs, old Annuities, all with beginning balances, ending balances, and indications of renewal is standard. Which ones came first? Are they still active, maturing? It’s hard to know. It takes a quiet time in a room bigger than six feet by six feet, no ventilation, outside light, or comfortable chairs.
It’s a lot to process the memories known about those documents. It can also create memories by making stories about those documents in your imagination. They can be comforting in times of change for families. Families whose elders are on the decline and nearing the end of their lives. It is a shame we lose many of their stories when they pass. Try to have them tell you those stories before it’s too late.
Write your stories, folks. Jot some notes your descendants can learn about your life and experiences. Our collective history is so important. Keep it going. Cherish it. Have a visit with the elder of the tribe. You’ll learn so much. Have a beautiful Sunday. We’ll see each other tomorrow.