A true story

My Mom said her Grandmother urged her to "never write anything down." What you write down, said my great grandmother, stays around forever.

She's right, of course. After my Dad died, my sisters and I went through paperwork and email and discovered a side of Dad I hadn't known existed. I had hints of it but to see it in text was startling.

Ironically, I'm the opposite of what my great Grandmother wanted me to be; I want to write everything down. I don't always do it because sometimes I'm overwhelmed with quotidian things--washing the dishes, making sure there's clothes for the next work day.

I never had the persistence to keep a daily journal--my journals are haphazard, sporadic. Sometimes I write things down on post cards or scratch paper and these things really are in danger of falling, as my great Grandmother thought, into the wrong hands. My great Grandmother was convinced a person's words could be used against them. An enemy of yours could find your writing and think you weak.

My mother is proud of the fact that her Grandmother was 'tough.' She was a tough lady to run a ranch and a business all by herself. Her husband was a no-show, an alcoholic who slept away his days.


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