Our family's rancho home burned down long before I was born. I heard little about it as I grew up, but I remember Dad's eyes flooding with tears in his later years when he talked about the tragedy he couldn't forget. Not until my older sisters shared their recollections of the fire, however, did I understand its profound significance in all our lives.
It's too late to ask my parents about the fire. I regret not recording their life stories—on tape or paper—while they were alive. So, as the youngest of five, I recently took on the challenge to learn about my family by turning to my siblings to document their life stories on videotape for ourselves and future generations. The result is a treasury of family lore on DVDs and, most important for me, a deeper understanding of my own roots.