Leaving Legacies

There is something to be said about documenting a life.

It took my grandmother years to compile her experiences during the war in written form.  I now have a thick pamphlet to keep for my children so that I may one day give over her legacy accurately.

My husband’s grandmother always refused to speak of her wartime experiences.  With the passing of her eldest sister, some walls came down.  She will casually mention life before the war and has even started to throw out little tidbits of concentration camp life.  It seems to me that she feels a clock ticking and although it is a painful past, there is a comfort in knowing that it will be remembered.

I have a legacy I want to share.

My life, at this point, seems to be sailing much smoother than before.  Things move forward.  I have created memories.  I now have documentation of events.  There are pictures and writings through all the stages I’ve been in the last five years.

But what about the years before?

When I was  teenager, I used to go through my things every couple of months.  Sometimes I was in a suicidal mood and sometimes I was feeling fearful.  Either way, when I thought the end was nearing, I would thoroughly clean out all my possessions so that I wouldn’t be embarrassed after I died.  I know it doesn’t make much sense, but even though I thought death was the solution to all of life’s problems, I still couldn’t figure out how to avoid caring about what people thought of me.

When I got out of that stage, I started one in which, with every step forward, I would do everything to erase the step behind.  Pictures would be torn up, poems would be burnt and blogs and e-mails deleted.

Those years are what shaped me and made me into the woman I am today.  The struggles I got past and the hurdles I climbed over are what dictate how I relate to experiences now.

I have nothing left to remind myself of why I am me.

I am still not sure how to go about it, but I feel that it is time to start putting the past into writing and stowing it away for a time when it may be needed.

Stay tuned.

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