Before I begin

I  wish I had realized sooner that my grandparents’ untold stories would die with them. I can think of a thousand questions that will forever be without first-hand answers. I want to leave answers for the unasked questions of my children and grandchildren. I want them to know who I have been and some of the things I have experienced. I want them to be able to tell the untold stories of the ordinary and not-so-ordinary people who came before them. History is understood not only in stories of the famous or infamous but in the stories of ordinary people. ~ Mary Ann Lesh, May 21, 2017

My life journey has taken me to unexpected places. When my mother, back on the farm near Nocona, Texas, sang “Guadalajara, Guadalajara,” swishing her skirt like the Mexican dancers she had seen in the movies, she didn’t know what the word meant. She was a lover of language and sounds, and she loved that sound, Gua-da-la-ha-ra. She didn’t know that Guadalajara was a city where her little girl, four years old at the time, would one day live, along with another little girl who would be born six years later. She could not have imagined that three of her five grandchildren would be born in that place whose name she loved. She didn’t even know it was a place.