Life story on video

A few years ago my wife facilitated recording on video the personal histories of an elderly couple in our congregation.  Initially, the wife proceeded with the endeavor, then the husband, seeing what was going on, wanted to do the same.  What a great production it ended up being, as my wife edited the video segments and created DVDs for them and their extended family.  Both have subsequently passed away, the wife only last month.

I recall one humorous story the husband told.  While serving in England during WWII he read an announcement in the newspaper from home that his wife had just delivered a healthy new baby.  The problem was he had been in England over a year and couldn’t imagine what had happened.  Turns out it was someone else with the same name.

What a great thing stories like this from our lives are for our families.  We are encouraged to write our personal histories for the sake of our posterity, so they know us and what made us tick.  And what traits we haved passed down.  Doing so with video can be very effective, and simpler in many ways.

During my friend Mark’s final months I encouraged him to record his personal history on video, which he was glad to do.  I anticipated a sizable task recording, editing, and producing the videos, but I have to say it was a piece of cake.  I would start recording on the camera and just sit back while Mark related his story, pretty much uninterrupted and without any notes, from start to finish for the 20 to 30 minute session.  He managed to sit for four such sessions before we ran out of time as his health deteriorated.  He talked about many important things in his life, and what shaped who he was.  He expressed tender love and appreciation for his wife.  The final session was pretty much him talking directly to each of his children on a very personal and loving note.  I can only imagine what a treasure these videos will be for the family.

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