Sunday, November 6, 2011
On November 1 of this year, I observed the tenth anniversary of my father’s passing.
The evening before, I had begun work on a project that had as its earliest goal the easy creation of a Christmas gift that I could give to each of my brothers and each of my nieces and my nephew. With the thought of publishing a small book on a site like Blurb.com, I had set out to collect any postings in this blog in which I reflect on my parents and what I remember of them. A touching tribute, no?
What happened, however, is that I searched the blog and read – again and again – a record that was not always and everywhere a tribute.
I found questions.
I found what had been hard at times to say, what had been difficult to admit.
What right, I found myself eventually asking, did I have to present to the members of my family a book punctuated by those questions, those admissions, those difficulties?
Would I transgress some ethical boundary if I suggested that life growing up in that house had sometimes been hard?
Would I disturb in others memories best left forgotten or, more painful still, private and unnamed?
I have time to mull. I can give myself the leisure of some days and weeks to ask: better not to touch this topic? better to let it stay just mine? better to look across a Christmas table and smile and laugh and give a future the chance to unwind without its real past?