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Memorial Day Post, for my Grandmother

Readers who followed my Facebook page following the end of my marriage may recall I was determined to learn the mandolin.  High Strung in Durham rented me a beautiful mandolin, and I proceeded to admire it, trying to play a few chords.  My daughters asked I do this on the porch, because the sounds I made were jangled, discordant – not at all like the Bill Monroe tapes my dad played on car trips.  After taking one lesson from an impatient teacher, I tried to learn online.  When I told my mom the reason I was not going to give up, she explained something to me.  I had been determined to play the mandolin because my grandfather had played the mandolin at home with his four brothers.  I had told myself a story that he had also played the mandolin after he returned from war.  I had told myself a story that he played the mandolin to heal from the trauma of war.  My mom, his daughter-in-law, explained to me that I had this wrong.  My grandfather could not play the mandolin after he returned from war.  Some wounds of trauma do not fully “heal” in the way that many people think about “healing.” Read more

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