After a night of tossing and turning, of strange and scary dreams, where long lost relatives in kelly green arrived from New Zealand to say goodbye to my grandmother before she had left, of madness and dressy clothes and corridors and funeral rooms, I don’t have much to say today.
In my sleep or perhaps it was my sleeplessness, I ruminated over assignments to-do, clients to obtain, RFPs to submit though they had yet to arrive. It was milky dark in my room and my husband slept soundly, but I tossed amid the blankets like a tiny boat on big waves.
I was hot. Then I was cold. I thought of my children, to return home at 9 a.m., sick because their father was too selfish to let them stay with me when he had the flu. I ruminated over things I could barely articulate in the half-sleep/half-wakeful state.
And among the tossing, it occurred to me that my interviews with my grandmother from so many years ago would be perfect fodder to revisit now, in the final days of her life. So when I climbed out of bed at just barely past 6, I went straight to the computer and the files and the office closet, searching for the interviews.
Nowhere to be found.
I found essays about my other grandmother, long-since-gone. I found the manuscript of interviews with my late grandfather. But Grandma Sheila’s stories? Which I remember – her learning to golf when her parents passed away, to have something to focus on, stories like that – I can’t find them anywhere.
When we have the people in front of us, we don’t capture to treasure their poignant memories, the stories of how we came to be. Our legacy, our lineage, our history. We are so bound up in the moment, in the now, that we don’t reach for the stories that brought us to today.
And when we do, it is almost too late.
I can’t get them now. But I had them once – only to disappear?
It doesn’t seem right.
It’s a shame that we chase through our lives on the journey to somewhere, never thinking to stop along the roadside to collect the flowers that pretty the landscape. Those are the stories of our personal histories, and they are as much about us as about the people who came before us.
In the shadow of the dawn, I can only capture the golf story and just shreds of it at that.