DAY TWO: A Grand Godmother
I went scouring through old photos albums tonight, looking for a picture from when I journeyed with friends to see the Pope speak in Denver, CO back in 1993. Instead, I stumbled upon a photo much more precious and timely – my grandmother/godmother with me on the day of my baptism.
I smiled and sighed simultaneously, wondering how time passes so fluidly. “Can it really be 31 years since she died?” I flipped to photos of me making silly faces or ones of my trip to Nashville in 1997. Yet, I kept coming back to that one striking image. A snapshot of a time I don’t recall but of a woman whose influence on my life never lessened.
I sat at my laptop and wrote. I recalled the snippets of memory I have from the time of her passing and the story developed into one that revealed why I am so drawn to genealogy research: These men and women who lived before me impacted not only my life but that of everyone they met. Their existence was not merely categorized as wife, mother, in-law, or grandmother. They went to work during WWII, endured tremendous personal tragedy, and kept moving.
I don’t think I knew the depths of this need to explore their stories until I started writing my YA fantasy/magic realism novel. Though the characters are not mirrored after any one family member, I intentionally created children, parents, grandparents, and ancestral relations that are both flawed and strong.
My godmother journeyed on to begin a new path, and I know that our spirits will meet again someday.
Have you ever been fascinated by an ancestor’s story? Do your family members unintentionally inspire your fictional work?
As I journey towards turning “writer” from a self-proclaimed label to professional title, I’ve decided to give myself a focused challenge. Each day, from now until January 11, 2016, I hereby pledge to focus on my writings: novel, screenplay drafts, stage play rewrites, TV pilot scenes, etc. Documenting my progress each day will help keep me motivated, inspired, and determined to keep moving forward. If so inspired, join me along my journey by documenting your own!