What Would You Want to Know?
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Don’t you wish you could know more about your grandparents and great grandparents? When we asked people of varying ages what they’d want to know, they jumped at the chance with questions ranging from the basics of everyday life to the toughest decisions their relatives faced. Here’s a small sampling:

  • How did you and grandpa meet?

  • What makes you happy?

  • How did you become the family’s chef?

  • How did you feel sending your children off to America for a better life thinking you would never see them again?

Many of us are in the thick of parenting just as we’re seeing our parents age. So it’s only natural that the most common questions seek wisdom about everyday life and continuity.  

  • What did you learn about yourself through parenting?

  • What surprised you about getting older?

  • Is there a family tradition that you hope I continue with my family?

We seek connection with those that came before us. After all, they’re a part of us. Knowing how our great grandparents saw themselves and participated in the world gives us context and links the generations. If we’d like to bridge that connection with those that came before us, don’t you imagine that your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be just as curious to know all about you?

What will you tell them?

It can be hard getting started. Familial is here to help. We offer a comprehensive service for capturing your family’s stories and wisdom. If you’re interested in learning more, visit Familial and contact us info@familial.net or by phone at 415.310.2550.

Aviva Black
Be the Link
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Did you know that for the first time there are more people in the United States over the age of 65 than under the age of 18? Isn’t that amazing? Just ask the people at Gen2Gen who are driven to realize the potential of older and younger generations working side-by-side for change. Intergenerational connections are good for everyone.

Picture this: a 17-year-old girl playing a weekly scrabble game with her 78-year-old grandfather.  Or a 14-year-old making a different dessert every weekend with his 68-year-old neighbor and former bakery owner. Think about the kids in your life. Do they have these kinds of relationships with an older person?

We all know of people who work into their eighties (thank you RBG) and even their nineties (hello Harry Belafonte). We admire them for how eager they are to keep their minds sharp, be active and relate to others. But what’s not mentioned is the desire for older people to be needed, to nurture and to find purpose.

Then we have our youth who may need extra help and attention. Colin Powell said, “How do children gain expectations to put in their hearts and souls? They get it from the adults in their lives…(who) pass on a hundred previous generations of experience.”

In his book, How to Live Forever, longevity expert Marc Freedman describes the dilemma of age segregation and the cultural change that’s just beginning. There’s Encore.org, that aims to tap the skills of people in midlife and beyond to improve communities. Startups like Roomily are creating mixed-aged living to make housing more affordable and communal. These innovative programs and others like them are fostering deep connections and relationships as older people are reintegrated into the lives of younger ones.

To get started, look to be a link in your own family, neighborhood or larger community. Does your child need a reading buddy? Do you have a retired neighbor who may want to volunteer? You don’t have to look far to find these opportunities.

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Familial creates lasting links between the generations. One client unknowingly echoed Colin Powell’s sentiment by choosing to write his Familial letter about the important role mentors played throughout his life and the enduring impact they had. Give a Familial gift and be the link in your family. If you’re interested in learning more about the experience or about gifting it to someone else, visit Familial and contact us at info@familial.net or by phone at 415.310.2550.



Aviva Black
Traditions!
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Harry travels with his son and daughter to see the Cubs play in a different stadium every year. They’ve now been to 33 games and never missed a season. On Mother’s Day, Julie hikes with her parents and children, a ritual her grandmother started when Julie was six. Seth and his friends go out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve, something many of them had done growing up. 

Some traditions stretch across generations and others are just being started. Either way, clients describe the twists they’ve incorporated to make these traditions their own. Think of a favorite tradition in your family or among your close friends. What makes it appealing? What traditions have in common are the feelings they evoke – of connection and the warmth that comes with that.   

At Familial, our mission is to bring people together through the experience of writing and receiving a Familial package. It’s the gift of connection. We offer a comprehensive service for capturing your family’s stories and wisdom. If you’re interested in learning more about the experience or about gifting it to someone else, visit Familial and contact us at info@familial.net or by phone at 415.310.2550.

 
Aviva Black
A Gift That Matters for Someone Who Matters
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Laura gave a Familial package to her father, Vince, for his 80th birthday and he was thrilled by what he created. Familial has been called "the greatest gift ever" by our clients. It’s an experience that makes for an extra special holiday, birthday or anniversary present and its impact ripples from parent to child to grandchild.

“Hearing you read it to me, I kept thinking, “Did I write that?”  I know those words came out of my head and my heart and it feels great to have done this and to have shared this.” - Lynn S.

This letter captures parents’ perspectives and love in their words as they describe their childhood, relationships and meaningful life events. This gives children a better sense of where their parents and grandparents came from which, in turn, gives insight into their own lives. Parents also tell their children how they see them and what they wish for them. This is a letter you will read over and over…one you’ll pass on to your children.

“My dad came over yesterday and gave me the letter. I just read it in my quiet morning space and am in tears. Thank you so much for this work. He is as wise and eloquent as ever and I so much appreciate his depth of thought and insight...which doesn’t always have a voice these days in our quick and hectic times together. Thank you for giving him the space and time to make these thoughts into something I can hold in my hands.” - Wendi S.

Familial offers a comprehensive service for capturing your family’s stories and wisdom. If you’re interested in learning more about this experience or gifting it to someone else, visit Familial and contact us at info@familial.net or by phone at 415.310.2550.



Aviva Black
Your Past Forges Your Future
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If you’ve ever watched the PBS series “Finding Your Roots”, you know how captivating it is. In each episode, host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals family histories of his celebrity guests. His research team digs deep into their family trees uncovering inevitably surprising information about their ancestors that creates for them a new and emotional connection with their past.

Carole King finally understood why her grandmother was distant after she learned of her unbearable hardships for the first time. Bernie Sanders realized why his father never spoke about life before coming to America after hearing a horrific story about the uncle he never met. QuestLove first learned his ancestors were brought to the South as slaves even after slavery was abolished. And Larry David discovered that his great grandfather was a slave owner who fought in the Confederate Army -- none of which his family had ever mentioned.

The personal information Mr. Gates shares with his guests is often harrowing, astonishing and shameful by any standard. But once they begin to absorb the details, his guests express greater appreciation for their family members and the sacrifices they endured. This invariably gives them a much better sense of themselves and how they got to be who they are today. It’s really powerful stuff.

We may not have Henry Louis Gates to dig into our history. But we each can begin telling our story, describing the people in our lives and how we move in the world. These personal narratives will be invaluable to those closest to you, both now and in the future. It’s also an invaluable journey for you -- giving you the ability to be reflective and thoughtful as you connect your past with your future.

It can be hard getting started. Familial is here to help. We offer a comprehensive service for capturing your family’s stories and wisdom. If you’re interested in learning more about this experience or gifting it to someone else, visit Familial and contact us at info@familial.net or by phone at 415.310.2550.

 
Aviva Black
What's Your Parent's Story?
What's Your Parent's Story - Familial

Kate’s father visits regularly from out of town. Aside from giving up his weekly tennis game, he’s still healthy and active. Kate’s been meaning to record some of his stories, like the one about him enlisting in the Navy against his parents’ wishes. She’d also like to know what he and his buddies have talked about for the past 30 years at weekly Tuesday breakfasts. But from the minute his plane lands, they’re swept up by birthday cake, lacrosse games and carpooling. So the questions go unanswered and the memories are unrecorded.

What’s your parent’s story? Read on for an easy way to start the conversation.

How about starting by asking your parent one question about his or her life? Here are some tips to get the ball rolling:

  • Tell your parent that you want to start capturing some key stories or anecdotes from her or his life. Trust us, parents want to be asked! But first, think about why it’s important for you to hear and record these stories.

  • Take time during the next visit or phone call to ask one or two questions. One might be, “Tell me about a tough decision you made in your life?” Or “How did you propose to mom?”

  • Conversations that happen in person or by phone or video-conference are the most effective. You’ll be connecting in a more meaningful and gratifying way.

So don’t wait until you have time to ask ALL the questions of a lifetime. Start small and, in reality, you’ll be starting big.

And please let us know how it goes!  

Familial is here to help. You can contact us here or by phone at 415.310.2550.

 
Aviva Black