Family Gatherings could offer up hidden treasures for your own life story

PHOENIX - Every family has it's cast of characters but those relatives also have stories to tell and the holidays can be the perfect time to reminisce.

"You could ask them things like tell me about a typical day in your childhood or what are some of the successes you've had in life, or what are some of the challenges that you've learned from?" said  Dee Dees, the self-proclaimed Life Story Lady.
"I just love hearing the stories.  Every time I talk to somebody new, I think, oh, I can't wait to write that," she said.
She's one of hundreds of personal historians nationwide who can help you capture the chapters of your own life or someone else's.  And she's written a book on how you can write your life story in 28 days.
"You need to be a link between the past and the future," Dees said. "Just make a list of everything that comes to mind, whether it's when you got your first bicycle or your first day of school or your 16th birthday party or your first kiss."
Unlike geaneology websites such as, personal historians don't try to build a  family tree or focus on who's related to whom.  Instead, they dive into the details to document a person's life story, so it can preserved for future generations   
Jerry Foster is one of Dees clients.  Now retired, he worked for decades as helicopter pilot. 
"I just feel so strong about leaving my family with my impressions," he said. 
These "impressions" can cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars depending on how extensive the stories become, but Dees says the memories are priceless.
She put together her first book for her grandmother.
"When she realized I really did care and I really was interested, she just beamed, and I think it added a couple more years to her life," Dees said.
She says more people are choosing to document their lives both online and on paper.
"The baby boomers today are more aware of paying attention to where they came from," Dees said.
So, while at times this holiday season you may contemplate getting rid of your own family, look beyond all the craziness, and you'll find just about everyone has some amazing stories worth keeping.  


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