Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Setting Her Free

We’ve just finished hosting my grandparents, my sister and her beautiful six-month-old daughter. They traveled to be with us for the Thanksgiving holiday and there was a little bit of magic in our home to have three generations under the same roof cooking, eating and mothering together.

We’re all so different with dissimilar lives, spouses, homes and environments, yet we’re intrinsically tied together and comforted by our heart strings. We share a lifetime of memories, heart aches and joys, yet there are still mysteries to unravel and lessons to learn and pass on.

My grandmother is 77-years-old and fighting fit, but I know our time together is limited. I’ve written about her briefly in a previous post. I explained in minor detail that her life story is one my pen has been itching to ink for several years. It’s full of gut-wrenching personal horrors, unusual road twists, and triumphs that speak to her soul’s unwillingness to wallow in despair.

Over the years I’ve mentioned to her that I’d like to dance my fingers across the pages of her life and she’s never actually said no, but she’s never actually said yes either. During our time together last week, my husband broached the subject again and this time we had quite a different reaction. When I told my grandmother I’d be honored to write her story and explained why I think it’s an important narrative to share, she said yes. This time she really said yes, and then she turned to me and quietly contemplated, “Maybe it will finally set me free.”

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