Full disclosure, Diana Cranstoun is my mother. There, now that’s off my chest.
SO… my Mom has ventured into self-publishing, releasing a short memoir titled In My Father’s Footsteps. I’m so proud of her. What she started with was a short memoir about her experience visiting Dunkirk, where her father (my grandfather) was one of the many men on the beaches in 1940, waiting to be rescued.
I remember hearing my mother’s stories when she returned from this life-changing journey. There were so many serendipitous moments, so many ‘signs’ that were too coincidental for them not to be magical. That said, when my Mom, Diana Cranstoun, presented each family member with a copy of the stories at Christmas, I smiled, accepted it gratefully, but then put it on a shelf. In my head, I’d heard the stories already, but it was great to have them captured for future reference.
And then my Mom self-published the story. And I read it. And boy, had I been wrong. She has masterfully woven together experiences, not just from Dunkirk, but letters that my grandfather sent to my grandmother during WWII, stories from her childhood that relate to Jack’s (my grandfather) experiences during the war, and the people she met on her journey through France. What was once eight or nine small, separate stories, became a magical journey when woven together.
I never met my grandfather. He passed away well before I was born. But In My Father’s Footsteps gave me a clearer picture of the honourable soldier, man and father Jack had been. As with most great memoirs, this short memoir shares an experience that was life-changing for my mother. I feel privileged to know that I now am wiser not just to my grandfather, but to my adventurous mother who has a dream and goes for it.
It’s a great little read, and I’d very much encourage you to delve into someone’s personal holy grail journey.
Has anyone else had an experience that was serendipitous? Did you write about it?