Questions I wish I had asked keep popping into my mind.
What are your regrets?
What fills your heart with joy?
What is your first memory?
What do you remember of your childhood?
How old were you when you last saw your mother?
Did your crossed eyes bother you?
What would you have done differently?
Are you satisfied with your life?
What was the most fun thing you have done?
The list goes on depending on who you are asking and what some of the answers reveal. I wish I knew those responses, especially from my grandparents. Their lives were rich and full of adventures, heartaches, boring days, long nights and lost thoughts I’ll never know.
I want them to fill in the gaps, add color to the black and white pictures that remain of them. What did they feel? What did they learn? What fulfilled them? What striped them?
I came from humble folks. My maternal side had ambitions, goals, a thirst for knowledge. My dad’s family was blessed with an earthy sense of humor, hard work ethics, and not much hope life would get better for them. But thanks to their ability to laugh, they trudged on sucking all they could from what little they had.
Both sides had major hurdles to leap, and dark caves to explore. But they also soared with gratefulness, and lived with abandonment. They lived not with grandeur, but like most Americans who were born in the 1800’s, before middle class and lower class were identifying terms.
They worked hard, raised families, struggled to have enough, and went to church every Sunday. They sang, prayed, and then marched on. Their struggles did not stop them.
But what did they think? What did they see that interested them? What did they desire? What did they give up? Who were these donors to my DNA? The questions go unanswered.
I wonder if anyone will seek my thoughts, my excitement, my flaws, my secrets? Or will I disappear under a blanket of known deeds that conceal the mysteries and riddles that define me? Will I be another life disappearing with untold stories?
What do I dare reveal? How much do I unmask? How hidden do I remain? Can I stand exposing all of me for the world to see? How brave am I?