Monday, January 29, 2007

I back dated this entry by two hours because I wanted for it to reflect the date of this crazy, crazy day.

I awoke around noon and came downstairs to let Kashi out. While he was doing his business, I flipped up the computer and thumbed the power button. By the time he was back, I started working on the scanning project.

Hours passed.

I organized all the photos from my grandmother's godfather. I scanned her photos through her teens. I also rifled through and organized the paperwork my mother included with photos. I scanned more.

My mother called to ask a question regarding some information I sent her. Hours passed again. With her on the phone, I created an archive account at her hometown newspaper and started searching. I discovered the obituary and article about my great, great grandfather (I am not sure about the greats) who was an original "pioneer," a man who arrived in 1865 and died in 1913. He was heralded as a son of city and a man who, along with his life, lived in gentle peace and kindness to others. His wife, Nannie, had died two years earlier. When I saw the photograph of her that was run in the paper, I had to swallow hard to hold back the tears. When I spoke to my great uncle about contacting the family of his half-brother I discovered among the photos, he wistfully said that he knew nothing, that he didn't even know the name of his father's parents. I was crying when I told him their names.

My grandmother hid so much in her life. She held grudges and manufactured "truth" to fit what she wanted out of life. I came across many articles about her in the paper, chronicling all she did for the community, especially the youth in the inner-city school where she taught. Publicly, she was a giant. Privately, I think she was a monster.

My great, great grandfather came from Castile, Spain. He was part of the troops hired by the Mexican government to "deal" with the Aztec Indians. He was killed in 1881, shortly after the birth of my great grandmother. Another great, great grandfather was a colonel in the confederate army. Apparently, my ancestors did not choose the side of honoring life in two egregious periods of human history. If my research into my current relatives is correct, life is a cheap thing indeed...from physically and emotionally harming children to killing classmates.

No long lost rich uncles to rescue me from my unemployment have I found...only history that is harsh and unforgiving, with few lives unmarked by alcohol, violence, secrets, and death.

I stopped the work, the research, the write here. I wanted to give myself a break from this journey. On Friday, I left Megan and Graham at an important time, a time when they are both beginning to understand the path on which they stand. A time in which they are learning to look outside themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. I must admit, right now, I am choosing the fiction over reality.

I wish to travel with the two of them on the path of faith for a while before finally going to sleep, so that my dreams might be of light rather than the darkness of this day.

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