“In our family histories, the frontier between fact and fiction is vague, especially in the record of events that took place before we were born…” ~ Adam Sisman
Once upon a time there was little I knew about my maternal great grandparents. However, one powerful photograph led me to wanting to know more about my ancestors.
With scraps of knowledge I’ve since acquired, along with my perceptions, I’m stitching together a story about the dynamics of a marriage shaped by a husband’s career choices. It takes place during an important era of science and innovation in our country’s history. As I’ve delved deeper into the archives, I’ve come to realize the woman behind the family, my great grandmother, was as worthy of writing about as her husband. Through the narrative I’m growing to love this couple I never met.
It’s been an intellectually and emotionally satisfying project. In writing a family history I’ve learned the most valuable material assets a person can acquire are ephemeral things (journals, photos and other memorabilia of family members). Some day what seems like fragments and scraps can stitched together to write a satisfying family history.
After I’ve done my due diligence as an author, I look forward to sharing the story with others. The narrative’s value goes beyond my family.
My first family history story, a memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected was a book awards prize winner in several categories.