Someone commented on my blog that I'm a great storyteller. Funny that, because I always wanted to be a great storyteller. I grew up watching my maternal grandfather weave a good yarn. He would tell the same stories over and over, each time growing them a little more. Strangely, I don't remember the details of any of his stories, but I can still picture him gesticulating wildly and hear his animated voice in my head.
I think about what he could have done if he was able to write. My grandfather was illiterate. Couldn't read. Couldn't write. The only thing he'd learned to pen was his signature for signing cheques. And after the stroke, he was reduced to signing with an "x". I watched him struggle one day with this. It took, what seemed hours, to create those two lines.
I wonder what he could have created if he'd been able to write down his thoughts. He ended up an alcoholic later in life and I can't help but entertain the idea that it was his frustrated creativity that slowly drove him to drink. How does one release all that energy if he can't read or write? I can only imagine his frustration.
He was a passionate man, to say the least. He often put curses on people. Curses, my mother says, came true every time. She shudders each time she tells me about that. Maybe she became a jw to hide from his curses. It's as good a reason as any I can think of.
Grampy died back in 1988. I was 13 at the time. I watched the man disintegrate in the years before his death. After the stroke, he lost his speech and you could see the stories sitting behind his eyes. In hindsight, I wish I had written them down. It's sad when stories are lost forever.