I was standing in the shower thinking about me. How people don't really know me. My thoughts wondered to my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, how surprised they would be to know "the real me." Then, as if someone heard my conceded thoughts, slowly materialized in my mind a reply.
Do you know the real them?
My hands froze in the middle of lathering my hair. No, I don't know them apart from their relationship to me. All I know of their pasts are facts. Ones I could have picked up from legal documents.
I know a few random stories, told time and time again. As if those are all they can remember to pass on. Or perhaps those hold more significance than I have previously realized.
I see pictures. I am told what was going on in the picture. Why they were dressed that way or who they were laughing at. But I don't know what they were thinking. Hopes, dreams, emotions... they don't get told. There for I learn very little about them, either from my negligence or theirs. Maybe both.
I am very close to my mother. We talk about everything. But as I stood there in the shower I could feel the absence of what I know of her past. The woman before the mother. Once again, all I know are facts and unrelated stories.
I have always felt that there should be a novel for every person's life. A summery from their perspective. So they could at once be immortalized and understood by those around them. It is at this time that I so strongly wish to find the novels on my family's lives. I shall have to resort to questioning them. And hopefully they will tell me what makes them who they are.