It has been almost six months since launching the “My grandma’s stories” series and the responses I have received from friends and readers have so far have been encouraging.
As I reach the halfway mark of 2012, I thought that it might be a good time to share some of the difficulties I faced while writing the posts.
“My grandma’s stories” is an account of the life stories experienced by my octogenarian grandmother, whom we fondly call her Ah Ma at home.
So far, I have wrote up till the post-World War Two period and interviewing my grandma has been as much an enjoyable but also tedious journey process.
One reason is because Ah Ma found it hard to collect all her thoughts that has happened over the past 80 years in a coherent, logical manner.
On top of that, she is also starting to forget things, often details that make stories come alive, or selectively choosing not to remember some things.
For instance, it took more than three interviews before I could place significant milestones such as her date of birth and marriage date on a timeline.
Her vagueness for dates could be accrued to two plausible reasons: (1) People from her generation used the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, unlike the Gregorian calendar we use today; (2) People used to be less time-conscious and hence rarely keep track of the dates or years.
As such, soliciting information from grandma is no easy task, with answers varying from cryptic to a messy jumble of facts.Do bear with me for the rest of the series which will be gradually rolled out throughout the course of the year. Next up will be when grandma meets grandpa.
New to this series/blog? Are you interested to read about my grandma’s stories?
You can catch up on the series below:
The fifth part is about Ah Ma’s job after war
The fourth part is about daily life during the Japanese occupation.
The third part is about the early years of the Japanese occupation.
The second part is about Ah Ma’s family.
The first part is about Ah Ma’s early childhood.
The introduction gives some background information about “My grandma’s stories”