Larry went through mom and dad's nightstands for me, not asking a lot about what to keep. A small brown book with Family Record stamped in gold on the cover made it home. A family tree book. Inside, in mom's beautiful hand, were our names as Mother and Father. Below were the empty lines entitled Children. She must have bought it when I was pregnant. That wasn't a very good Christmas, was it?
Interestingly enough, only the women on my side were filled in past my grandparents' generation. I guess you start with the childbearers. Larry's side was entirely blank. So on the plus side, while I knew my great grandmothers' maiden names, I can now rattle them off. Houghton, McGregor, Brown, Nelson.
I could not stand to throw away the little book, but I made sure it was somewhere I could not run across it casually ever again. I tossed it behind the tall Japanese desk in my work room. I won't be the one who moves that piece of furniture. It may well stay there until I die.
And I'm okay with that.