The Wheat Field by
200
(216 Stories)

Prompted By Mind the Gap

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My grandparents emigrated from eastern Europe,  and my parents lived through a world war – my father sent overseas while my mother worked for the Army on the homefront.  (See Parkchester, Celebrate Me Home)

And like all families there were skeletons in the closet,  and there were suicides on both sides that were whispered about,  and the tragic drowning of the relative for whom I was named.  And a great-uncle I had never heard of who appeared at my grandmother’s funeral,  and my mother’s cousin Daniel who came back from the war “shell-shocked“ as it was called then.  And my great-aunt Miriam who performed on world stages.   (See Aunt Miriam, Diva)

After my father’s funeral my uncle Stevie – my father’s younger brother –  sat on my parents’ back porch and told us stories well into the night,  stories he’d heard from their Russian father,  my grandfather Sam who died when I was an infant.

Sam’s earliest memory,  he’d once told his children,  was of running through a wheat field – the wheat higher than his head.

Generations of stories I’ll never hear again.

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!
www.WorldThruBrownEyes.com

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Tags: Grandfathers
Characterizations: moving, well written

Comments

  1. John Shutkin says:

    Wonderfully evocative, Dana — both the family secrets and, of course, the wheatfields. I, too, have thought (often too late) about all the stories that can only get passed on from generation to generation if they are, indeed, passed on. I’m so glad you got to hear those stories from your uncle Stevie.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    It is good that you heard those stories when you did, Dana. Be sure to pass them on to Noah. We must preserve our history while we can.

  3. Marian says:

    Your lovely story triggered a lot of feelings for me, Dana, especially the parts about the secrets and suicides. I felt fortunate that I eventually heard a lot of my family’s stories, but I still wonder if there are things my mother hasn’t told me.

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    Like you, I wish I had asked for more information and stories from my grandparents. Chances are, they ran through similar wheat fields.

  5. paulaestelle says:

    This one reminded me of all those stories shared on hot summer nights sitting on my grandparents porch. I so wish I could ask them to tell me more. Thanks for your memories.

  6. Dave Ventre says:

    The running through tall wheat is so…open ended. It begs for detail and backstory. It is sad that we seldom seem to grow curious about our family history until the information becomes lost forever.

  7. Khati Hendry says:

    You did a lovely job of alluding to oh so many stories in this piece, ones that begged for more. As you found yourself wishing you heard more of the old stories yourself. Lovely writing and a reminder to always listen and share more.

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