When my friend’s parents passed away last year, he didn’t really realize how many things he would’ve liked to have known about them and their preferences and how much of their insight he would miss. Its been an year and thankfully he has almost sorted out himself at least to an extent.
When we were discussing about all these stuff, he opened himself and told me few things one should be knowing before its too late, which I have compiled as below:
1. Ask them about their youth. You would wish you knew more about how they handled/dealt with their own personal loss.
2. Ask about their first car (for instance) – like what they bought, what they paid, where and how they got the money. You’ll not only learn about their taste in cars, but about how they view their financial world.
3. Ask about their wedding- how did he propose, what did she wear, did they have a honeymoon? This will provide an insight of their subtle romances.
4. Ask about one of the worst times of their lives.
5. Ask about your family tree – you never know, at some point it will be important to you or your children. Have few recordings of them on random events or just unpretentious. Do not probe like any news channel. Just be casual.
6. Ask them, “Is there anything that if I were to find it out later, you would have regretted not telling me?” . Although this sounds harsh, but sometimes family secrets perish just because of lack of knowledge.
7. Know where they keep the important stuff – both practical (financial) and sentimental.
8. Lastly, thank them. If you are a parent yourself, right now, you know why, and if you are not yet, then simply thank them for not abandoning you to wolves one evening when their patience had worn thin 🙂 .
Mind it, you can not taking a viva or exam, keep it simple. Like one of my friend, made a point no matter how busy you are, just once a month, get dressed up and go to a fancy dinner. You can switch who would pay also. There you can spend some memorable time along with some pun chats.
And in addition to all above, you can sign up for– it’s a service that asks a question a week to your parents and records their answers.