After many years of hearing my grandmother’s stories, I realized that it’s time to start recording them. My first effort on this front, “Naomi’s Rebellion,” was written last summer and included in the 2012 edition of the Poetica Grandma-tica anthology. I posted that story to Moments of Unexpected Beauty on Jan. 8, 2013; a brief overview of Naomi’s life appears at the end of it. Now I’m collecting as many stories as I can using the journal Grandma, Tell Me Your Memories by Kathleen Lashier. It includes blank pages with a different question for each day of the year; it’s designed to be given to a grandmother so she can respond to a question each day. Since my grandma’s eyesight is failing, I’ve been asking her the questions myself and recording her answers to the best of my ability. At this point, I’ve got a hodgepodge of story fragments to work with as a result. I’d like to eventually compile them into a unified narrative, but right now I’d like to record as much as I can on this blog so the information is floating untouched in cyberspace. Given the tendency of things to disappear when my four-year-old son is around, I figure it’s best to have a back-up in the not-terribly-unlikely event that the physical journal becomes lost in the chaos. In order to give at least a partial sense of organization, I’m going to group the first few entries by family member. My information is based almost completely on Naomi’s recollections, so I can’t guarantee they’re a hundred percent accurate, but I’ll include as much as I can based on what she told me. I finally got a picture to upload, so the image on this post is of Naomi blowing out the candle on her 93rd birthday cake. It was taken in September of 2012.
Overview of the “Naomi’s Story” project