Reading the Past

By Sally Davis

It was a very cold December day in 1934 at the Morgan Siding Logging Camp when my Dad was told by Uncle Louie, who had just arrived at the camp, that Dad was the father of twin girls.

Dad didn’t believe him, but he left the camp and walked several miles along the railroad tracks  to get to a little village in Northern Wisconsin, where he and Mother rented an upstairs apartment in a two-story building that fronted on main street.

Just a few years ago Dad came to visit me in California.  Dad loved to tell stories but I never wrote them down.   We decided during his Christmas visit, to take a gambling bus to Lake Tahoe (on the border between California and Nevada in the Sierra Mountains).  Dad always wanted to see the lake and I wouldn’t have to drive to the snow covered mountains, if we took the bus.  I took along a steno notebook to write down Dad’s stories and the answers he might give to the questions I had about my growing up.

The gambling bus was filled and noisy with conversations.  Dad spoke in a loud voice and soon everyone on the bus stopped talking and listened to his stories.

On that day I heard the story about the cold December day that I was born, how my name and my sister’s name were chosen, and then how my twin sister died.

Many years later Dad’s story became part of an experience I had at the state agency I worked at in California.

At an office Halloween party, the agency director offered to read palms. Because I chaired the party, I didn’t have time to sign up for a reading.  A few days later the director called, saying that although I hadn’t signed up to have my palm read at the party, she offered to do so during a noon hour the following week.  I had to say “yes” but it was with skepticism.   During the 15 or so minutes of palm reading, I was told that I had been a twin, and that my twin sister died shortly after she was born.  She couldn’t have known this – I had only worked with her for about six weeks.

But what she told me was so wonderful !  All of my life I wondered about the kind of person I was.  Why did I have so much energy, so many opportunities, so many good friends and such a wonderful  family.  She told me that I had been given the gift of my twin sister’s spirit – that spirit gave me her energy, curiosity, appreciation for life, stubbornness, and an openness to life’s adventures.  Then I realized and have continued to be grateful for knowing that a gift of spirit had so enriched my life and given me so many blessings.

For every life there’s a story worth saving. Please help me continue to serve talented writers by funding my project on Power2Give.

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About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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