While doing my reading on Ernest Hemingway, I found this quote of his, ” Every memory soon becomes fiction.” I guess looking back is like looking through the wrong end of a telescope. This thought manifested itself this past weekend when I went to Texas to visit with my sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. But let me digress. My father’s side of the family is large. He had 6 brothers and sisters and with most of them living and fighting through Dubyah Dubyah Two , post war, they went forth and multiplied. Produced quite a few baby boomers they did. When my father was still alive and we would have family reunions, the most frequently shouted phrase between he and his siblings was, “you don’t know what you’re talking about!” At those reunions, the person who got heard was the one who shouted above the fray. It inevitably was about a memory one aunt or uncle had that the others did not agree with. When I met with my cousins, one brought up the fact that my two aunts didn’t know what to do about their memories and wondered if they were still correct, and they so wished their brother, my Uncle C, was still alive because he was the arbitrator of “the truth”. It pains me to say this, but one of these days my beloved aunts and uncle will no longer be with us to tell us tales of their growing up. Of their life during the depression or what it was like to live through “the war” years or humorous stories about my dear grandma and grandpa. I don’t care if their memories are somewhat skewed. They are my heritage and they become my memories.
As my mother once told me, “one of these days you will be the senior generation.” OMG. So it was very interesting when I had my reunion with my family and how easily the words came out from the future “senior generation”: “you don’t know what you’re talking about!” Every memory does soon become fiction…Thanks a pant load Ernest.