Monday, May 25, 2009

My Grandma and Dad

Yes, my grandmother was taller than her son. She was 6'3" and he was only 6'. The photo above was taken in 1939, when my dad was in the Royal Canadian Airforce. He captained troop ships for the Canadians until the U.S. entered the war, then B-17 Bombers for the rest of the war.

Yes, it's Memorial Day, but what does a photo of two of my ancestors have to do with the creative process? Because, I believe, without our history we have nothing to create from. My father rarely spoke of his experiences in WWII or the Korean War, yet they had a profound impact on who he was and therefore who I am and what I create. Without that understanding and acceptance, we cut off so much of ourselves and therefore the raw stuff of creativity.

My grandmother is also in the picture because without her I wouldn't be a writer. When I was little and staying with my grandmother, every night we'd lie in her big bed underneath her chenille bedspread. "Tell me a story about when you were little," I'd demand. "Oh, child, you don't want to hear those stories again." "Yes, please." And every night she'd tell me the stories of her childhood as I fell asleep.

So this Memorial Day, honor and remember.


The Muse said...

Beautiful picture and Memorial!

I didn't do a Memorial Day post this year. Yesterday we were BBQing baby back ribs and cooking all day.

It was a hard day for my husband. He just wanted to keep to himself. I know he was really missing his dad.

Take care!

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Muse, Memorial Day sure can be bittersweet...sometimes so sad.

Swubird said...


Nice post and a wonderful thought. What disappoints me about Memorial Day is that my kids could care less. It's just a day off work. They act completely oblivious to the sacrifice that so many men and women made so that we all could have this wonderful life.

Happy trails.

Dave King said...

Fully agree: my father obviously had many experiences with the RAF in Germany during WWII that he could not talk about. They changed him - and , I believe, me as well.

Conda Douglas said...

Swu, that is awful. Especially when we're at war and unfortunately, there are new, young people to remember on this day, and the ultimate sacrifice they made.

Conda Douglas said...

Dave, it seems from all I've heard, that's really common with the WWII vets. My dad told me ONE horrific story about his experience. At the end I asked (I was young), "Was that the worst thing that ever happened?" He was stunned at the question. He replied, "No, it was just regular life."

Helen Ginger said...

What great memories you have. A lot of today's kids don't have those - and they're the worse off for it.

Straight From Hel

Kathy McIntosh said...

How fun that your grandmother told you those stories.
I was married to a Vietnam vet, and he rarely spoke of his time there.
We do need to honor those who served our country. And those who gave us life and memories. Thanks for reminding me.

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Helen, I don't know when the shift occurred to where kids didn't want to hear any family history or stories, but it is a great loss. And per the old saying, those who don't know history are of course condemned to repeat it!

Conda Douglas said...

You're welcome, Kathy, and I see you honoring those that came before often.