Monday, September 10, 2007
When my mom and dad arrived yesterday, the first thing my dad wanted to do was grub around in his suitcase.
"I've got something for you," he said.
He couldn't find it right away, but finally my mom poked around and found a manila envelope. Inside was a bright red peachie-type folder, with my dad's memoirs from WWII. He had, at the urging of my uncle, finally written them down.
Later, at the dinner table, I said to my mom: "Now it's your turn."
She answered: "Oh, I haven't ever done anything exciting."
This from the woman who survived the dust bowl on a small farm in Kansas, who was the first woman in her family to attend college, who defended the school library from censorship in 1968.
I realize, though, that what she really meant was probably: "I've never been to a war."
There were all sorts of levels of sadness in her statement. I'm wondering how much it has to do with being a woman in a man's world, in the devaluing of herself simply as herself, or even the dismissal of midwestern rural life as unimportant and "less than".
I'm going to be working on her during the visit and letting her know that I want her stories.
As I said before, I'm working on having a "real" relationship with my parents, which I believe means that I must come to know them better -- as they are now, and as they perceive themselves to have been (not just as I have perceived them to have been).
Funny -- the longer I go on living, the more interested I seem to get in the details of nearly every person that I know. Life is so fascinating, and humans are so diverse.
Here's to all the lost stories.
Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:51 PM