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phoenyx's avatar

What should I ask my grandma?

Asked by phoenyx (7374points) January 30th, 2008

My grandma was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. Over the next few months, I’m going to videotape myself interviewing her so that I can record as much as I can for posterity. I already have several things in mind, but I thought I’d “tap the collective” for more ideas.

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6 Answers

robhaya's avatar

Have you checked out Story Corps Great Questions List ?

Some of the questions include:

What was the happiest moment of your life?
What are you most proud of?
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
What is your earliest memory?
How would you like to be remembered?

This is a great project and site for how to conduct these types of interviews. And they have a book too. The site has a lot of great tips and information.

This is something I’ve been wanting to do myself.

Good Luck!
R

mikeyC's avatar

I would ask do you want to do this?
Not trying to be rude but you would be suprized how some people just assume that you do! I’m aways an advocate for the elderly . She has cancer does she have the energy for all this . Just a thought so please don’t take personally . You sound like a great person and the idea seems interesting.

phoenyx's avatar

No offense taken.

She has been a positive influence in my life and I love her so I want to capture what I can, while I can. Also, my children are young and I don’t know what they’ll remember of her when they get older. She has had a lot of influence on our family culture. I think it will help my kids understand our quirkiness and why we do the things we do. So, yes, I think it is important and it is something I want to do.

As for her health, she has her good days and her bad days, but she is tough. She seems to also feel like the clock is counting down and she has been writing her memoirs, organizing old photos and such. She also wants to do as much as she can while she still can.

Zaku's avatar

Perhaps to tell stories. In my family, a lot of time is spent retelling stories, and the oldest people know some that others don’t, or know them in different ways. Also I’d go over the family tree and ask what she knows about everyone there. In my family, this is something we generally enjoy, so I think it’d occur as an opportunity rather than a burden.

I think it’s really neat that you’re doing this.

syz's avatar

My favorite talks with my grandmother are about societal/technical advancements since she was a kid. She enjoys reminiscing about her childhood and I’m enthralled by stories of using a mule to plant crops, making soda biscuits in the wood burning stove, my great-grandfather teaching in a one room school house – she remembers going on dates in some of the first cars ever made, when she stopped wearing woolen stockings and switched to socks, and she recently passed on to me a piece of vintage glass that a date won for her at the state fair in 1933.

lifeflame's avatar

You might also wish to dig up old photos and have her talk about them. Visual stimulus.
It may also be fun to get different people to chat with her.. she’ll probably reveal different sides of herself to different people.
.

I’ve been also wanting to do a documentary about my grandfather, who sits on the couch all day. What is he thinking? It is a mystery to me…

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