“Do you recall when Dad shared this story with you?”
I was glad to hear Jon recount Dad’s sad tale. Without knowing it, Jon had confirmed a missing piece to the puzzling last day of our paternal grandmother’s life.
Hints between the lines of what my paternal grandfather didn’t tell and what made print in two newspaper accounts of the fatal car crash allowed me to piece together the why. What came as a surprise were the two extra jigsaw pieces Jon threw on the table I hadn’t known were missing.
But isn’t this just how stories are put together? One person receives part, another deduces some other detail, both keep what they know until one day, they sit down to compare parts and piece the story together. Of course, we never know whether we’ve gotten the story right since much gets lost in history and in our own and others interpretation. But it doesn’t stop us from trying, especially when the story concerns one we love.
When it comes to Daddy and his story, there are many missing pieces and lots of room for interpretation. There is a period of Dad’s life — two years, maybe more — that I’ve come to regard as the silent years. His sister Carol once asked Dad about this period of his life but Dad declined to talk about it.
Some can’t wait to tell what’s going on in their lives while others keep their stories to themselves. Dad told his story as he felt the need, or when he hoped something good might come from the telling, which is how my brother came to know what he shared. Yesterday made me realize some stories are better kept in reserve until ripe for the telling.