Why Families Must Remember

Last Shabbat dinner we remembered my Grandpa Pryor.

He served in World War II, led our family faithfully during his life, and died over 20 years ago.

We told stories over dinner, watched a slideshow, read his poems, and discussed the meaning of the story of his life.

Why is this important?

I know a lot of people who say with an air of nobility in their voice, “I don’t care if anyone remembers me after I die. I’m happy to be forgotten.”

What these people assume is that there is something entirely selfish about wishing to leave a legacy that’s worth remembering. 

What they don’t understand is that this is not for them.

We desire remembrance for the sake of our descendants.

Our life today gives roots to our family tomorrow.

Why is this important?

Modern individuals live in a continual identity crisis.

We don’t know who we are because most of us have been severed from the roots of our past.

We are daily impacted by the decisions of our ancestors, but we don’t even know their names.

We’ve done this intentionally.

We decided as a culture that the lives of our past family members must be treated as irrelevant because their legacy might impinge on our absolute freedom to reinvent our preferred individual identities.

And like the flower that’s cut away from its roots, its beauty lasts for a season and then it withers.

If you wish to give your family roots, start telling family stories.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

These stories don’t only say something about the lives of the past but they say our lives matter.

Telling family stories from the past says the story our lives are telling will impact the generations in the future.

Grandpa, thank you for your life, your love, and your service. 

As long as your family lives on you won’t be forgotten.


Me and my Grandpa 1975

This entry is a part of Jeremy’s Journal, a newsletter Jeremy sends out every Wednesday morning to encourage you on your parenting journey. You can sign up to get them every Wednesday here.

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