I realize it is too early to talk about the story of Dreams, Sweet Dreams of You. So, for this first blog, I want to talk about when my grandmother, Rafella, asked me to write her story.
The year was 1978. I was twenty-five years old and Rafella was eighty years old. Rafella at the time was living with my parents in Van Nuys, California. I had just returned from the East Coast after spending two years working as an executive sales representative for Lear Siegler. I really didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do for a profession. The East Coast position was a great advantage for me; however, I felt that I sold my soul to alcohol and the devil himself. So, I moved in with my parents to reconstruct my perceptive of life.
While sharing time with my parents and Rafella, I had the pleasure to re-connect with my grandmother. It was a Sunday dinner and my father was talking about his father, and I could see this was really bothering Rafella. To me, it was nothing important, just my father always being amazed at my grandfather’s accomplishments.
That night as I was watching television and everybody else had retired to bed, my grandmother’s door open and I could hear from the squeaks and groans from the wooden floors that she was coming to the living room. I was lying on the couch and got up to give her room to sit down next to me. I asked her if she was alright and she smiled, dabbing her eyes and nodding her head as if there was something wrong.
It didn’t take her long but she asked me if I would be interested in writing her story. I smiled right away and nodded before I could get the word sure out. I was more perplexed why now and why me. Normally my grandmother was so confident that she would have told me that I would write her story. This request came from her; not a command from the spirits but from her heart. Of course, I said “yes” and felt such an honor that she asked me.
Little did I know that I really knew so little about my grandmother other than the purity of her love. A love that she generously gave to me and all her other grandchildren.
I turned off the television and we started that night as I got my note pad out and started to take notes. It took us two years to complete.
I cannot tell you how many days and nights turned into a spilling of tears and hugs. It was for me an enlightenment of her life, my life, and many answers to my own journey for finding myself. Two years for a twenty-five-year-old male was a long time, yet it was always such a special time for me.
I never regretted the shared time I had with her. Learning about a slice of history that just seemed impossible to actualize and appreciate.