My mother called with a request the other day. My grandmother had asked her to have us all write down memories about my grandfather. Now, Grandpa's alive and well, albeit slowing down with the years. But Gram wanted stories now, so that when Grandpa dies she'll have them to hold onto.
I'm a little horrified at the idea, but I do see the appeal. I have lots of lovely memories about both my grandparents - they are some of the nicest people I will ever meet - but the problem comes when I go to write things down. My head is clouded with memories - Grandpa took me ice-fishing and after abut two hours of me deciding the place and getting ready to fish (did I mention this was a Michigan winter, and a storm had begun to blow off in the distance?) we discovered I had...lost the hook - my first poetry recital, speaking in front of about three hundred people and seeing Gram and Grandpa (who had driven from Louisville, Kentucky to Michigan that day to see me and would go back again that night) - Disneyworld, with Grandpa making faces at Mickey - my grandfather, who loves the spoken and written word, used to send me letters that were deliberately mis-spelled with instructions betting that I couldn't find all twenty mistakes - they helped me with math by teaching me 99 and other card games. So many memories!
The trouble is - when I write these down, they go flat. They don't sing, like the memories do in my head. I can't make me words resonate with the absolute love I have always felt from both my grandparents, and that makes me sad. They feel wooden, like something I'm obliged to do, like a condolence card for someone you didn't really know. Not the feeling I want to leave in my Grandmother's book of memories.
I'm not sure what to do.