Long before I finish a book I write its last chapter since it summarizes the overall theme. Here is a draft of book #4’s (“Notes About Growing Up And Kin”) last Note.
I have a Texas history book called “Camino Del Norte: How a Series of Watering Holes, Fords, And Dirt Trails Evolved into Interstate 35 in Texas” – a long title of a book covering the history of how I-35 came to be in Texas. The book covers times from the pre-historic to descriptions of today’s sometimes dense urban corridor stretching on either side of the Interstate.
Like the urban sprawl over the once open rolling terrain the lives of my family and I also lie along that long road. From Gainesville, to Denton, to Fort Worth and other places along the way, even to Laredo where Stephanie and I once drove, lie in the stories of this book and the ones before it. I have lived most of my life within in walking distance or literal earshot of that road, on many nights I fell asleep to the hum of the 18-wheelers speeding down its course.
The memories of being there are a roadmap of the generations that live or lived along it. Events like birth and death are the sign posts of their existence. And the future which lies ahead are the un-built plats of familial sprawl yet to come as each part of the family becomes its own extended family group, each becoming a generational exurb if you will.
Everyone is somewhere and alongside a road of their own. We each have our own journeys but in the end we all drive down the long Interstate of existence until we pass over eternity’s distant horizon and are seen no more. And later someone else going that way stops and remembers who came before and marks that place on their roadmap of life like a historical marker on a Texas Farm-To-Market road.
I hope that is what I have done with my four Notes books – drawn a road map of one family’s drive’s down life’s roads for those who travel it still, and also one day for those yet unborn.