Not trying to tell you how to live your life, but within the last few weeks many people have shared the same regret--that we didn't ask our parents questions about their lives, hopes, dreams and all that stuff.
So if you're getting on in years, it's time to either talk to your kids or write some of your own history to leave for them. And if you're young, it's time to start asking questions and taking notes. It doesn't matter who does the writing just so it gets recorded for the next generation.
I can tell you this: it's extremely rewrding and will move you from tears to laughing out loud! I can also tell you that it is much easier to share by written rather than spoken word. It gives you a chance to search for just the right descriptive terms or just the right level of emotion.
At the computer when you're all alone you can relive the best of times and the worst of times and realize that you can control the level of honesty and judgment, but somehow you'll not be able to fudge the truth. There would be no point in doing this if it were not a completely open discourse. There's also the possibility that you may want to just ignore a particular incident because it would do no good at this particular point to cause anyone pain--for what purpose?
I haven't reached any critical decision making and I'm almost finished. I'm thinking that with large families it's pretty tough to keep secrets. Somebody's always gonna tell.....
When I decided to do this and told my husband, his reaction was "Well, you'd better hurry up!" When I'm finished I plan to advise the kids that if they want their dad's memories they're going to have to interview him--this is just not his favorite past time. And then I'm going to tell them "You'd better hurry up!"