After our parents and grandparents die or lose their memories, we think of a million things we wish we'd asked them.
In anticipation of that happening — especially to our six grandchildren — my wife and I scheduled what we jokingly called a “Grandparents Press Conference” during the holidays in 2012.
We announced it about two weeks in advance and invited each of our kids and grandkids to make a list of questions to ask us. We assured them that no subject was off limits.
Fortunately, all the family lived in and around Nashville, so there was no problem getting them together on a Sunday afternoon. They were enthusiastic about the event – or were masterful in pretending they were.
We thought the whole thing would be done within an hour, but it lasted for three and would have run longer had not some of us had other appointments.
Our oldest daughter videotaped the session and made DVD copies for her brother and sister. We never suspected at the time that my wife's memory would fail her a couple of years hence, a blow that makes the record of that gathering all the more precious.
I'm aware that in some families such an exercise might lead to broken pottery and bloodshed, but it worked beautifully for us.
With the holidays coming on, you might want to try it.