If you’ve been reading my blog this Summer (And if you have, why aren’t you posting comments? Hint hint, to all you lurkers!), you’ve seen a lot of pix of my family. Well, here’s a couple more from recently. My grandmother continued her 80th Birthday celebration from Myrtle Beach (the trip we were on) a few weeks later up in Greenville SC, where we’re all from. This was the “official” birthday party. Barbie and I and the girls weren’t able to make this one, since we’d been in Myrtle. Mom and Dad went, though, as well as my sister, Lorie.
One of the two pix here is of my Dad and his Dad, Papa Parham. The other is of my grandparents and two of my Grandfather’s sisters. Aunt Joyce, the one in blue, has written a couple of volumes of her autobiography over the past few years, telling old stories about she and my grandfather and their family growing up. Most of them I’ve never heard, but some of them, of course I have. She tells mostly the good stories, but some of the not-as -nice ones, too. Some of the family has gotten a bit miffed at her for telling the unflattering stories, mostly about my great-grandparents. But I think they’re some of the best ones to hear. There’s nothing truly bad in them anyway, it’s just stories that show their “human-ness”. To me, the “good” stories are good to know, but it’s the other ones that really “flesh out” the people involved. I WANT to know their shortcomings as well as their strengths. Dealing with, overcoming, and sometimes just surviving those shortcomings, those faults and missteps, are what truly make a person who they are.
I think writing the stories down about your family should be a requirement for everyone. Unless you record what your life was like growing up, how are your kids, or THEIR kids going to know about you? Maybe they can learn from your mistakes, so they don’t have to make them, you know? Or maybe they can just learn a bit about what made you like you are. Heck, maybe they’ll just learn what your favorite cereal was growing up. Minor things, major things, ANYthing. When I think about the things I’ll never know about my Grandparents on my Mom’s side, because it was never written down, it makes me start to cry. These people that I loved and cherished so much, there’s so much I don’t know. And so much I barely remember. All my Grandfather’s stories…they’re all gone to me now. He used to love to talk. And I loved talking to him.
I’ve been after my parents to start their own memoirs for awhile now, ever since I read Aunt Joyce’s first book. I find her books fascinating. To be honest, they’re a lot of my inspiration this Summer in writing my blog here. This, in a way, IS my autobiography. Thanks, Aunt Joyce, for doing them. I’m looking forward to the next one!