22 February, 2012

Drinking in the rich history

There are so many questions unanswered. There are so many "I have always wondereds." I can carry the questions with me, as each of the keepers of the knowledge slowly makes their way to the grave, ultimately taking the very questions themselves to the grave with me. Or, I can take every opportunity to probe, explore, hunt, gather, sleuth, glean, extract, discover, and coax precious nuggets of history from those in my family that still hold the keys to this treasure.

Not everybody remembers everything. That's a fact. And not every bit of information lives in the minds of those alive to tell the tales. That's also a fact. But there is much still out there. And some people are as willing to talk as I am to listen.

I don't want to wish I had asked. That happened with my mother. I never got the chance. There are still people who can help piece together large chunks of the voids in my knowledge of her life. Her sisters... My dad...

Tonight we stood in my bedroom, which has become the "picture room" because the wall is adorned with dozens of photos of 4 generations of the two sides of my parents' family. And today, my father had stories to tell about every photo. And memories that were triggered by each. I learned things in a five-minute conversation at 1am that I had not learned in the 43 years prior.

The loss and grieving is sort of an opening of a window into hearts and minds.

I am not going to walk past this opening because it's exactly what I need. In fact, it may be exactly what we all need right now.

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