This post was inspired by the August NaBloPoMo prompts on Blogher.
Recently I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. As her mother is dying, in the beginning of the book, the author realizes that she knows everything there is to know about her mom. She has asked her everything she wants to know, has memorized the details of every story, has learned who her mother was in the past.
Reading the passage, I was reminded of how little my sister and I ask about our families. Now all our grandparents are dead, and their stories have died with them. There are no stories in my family that have survived two generations.
I know that my great granny Doyle was strict and like people to sit up straight (she definitely would have hated me). I know my granddad did not like my dad when he started dating my mom. I know my dad was in at least one serious car accident. I'm pretty sure that my granny Jordan had a little love triangle thing going as a youngster. But I never heard the main characters tell their stories, well except my dad. And now I wish I had. I wish I could say what Cheryl Strayed wrote:
"All through my childhood and adolescence I'd asked and asked, making her describe those scenes and more, wanting to know who said what and how, what she'd felt inside while it was going on, where so-and-so stood and what time of day it was. And she'd told me, with reluctance or relish, laughing and asking why on earth I wanted to know. I wanted to know. I couldn't explain."
-Cheryl Strayed, Wild