Tuesday, April 03, 2007

sometimes the journey

Last week, I sat with my Grandmother for a long overdue visit. With a million things ahead of me in the next couple of months, I couldn't stop myself from saying - "Grandma, this summer we're going to start that oral history project." She answered with an enthusiastic 'okay'.

Before I'd even decided to be a writer, my family had said to me that they expected me to write the family book. The book that would tell the millions of stories that passed through dinner conversations, anniversary parties, reunions and chats... The story of my grandparents, their 15 kids, the depression, the civil rights era, the loss, the migration, the wars and everything to follow afterward. Like how three days after my grandparents moved 10 of their children to Israel from Grand Rapids Mi. - they were running for the bomb shelters at the beginning of what would be the Yom Kippur War.

I have an extraordinary family.

So I decided I couldn't afford to waste any more time - and that one day my Grandmother will no longer be with us and all of those stories and their accuracy will be lost forever. So this summer, the taped conversations, sorting through photos and letters, researching geographical histories - all of it will begin. Despite all other goings on. Hopefully it will all lead to a monumental trip next Summer - to Israel. Where it all got interesting. 'Ha shana baya bi yirushalim' - we say every year at Passover. 'Next year in Jerusalem'.

Sometimes the journey just can't wait.

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