Everyone has a story to tell. And every life lived, every family, is rich with material. When I suggested to my grandmother last summer that she write a memoir, neither of us took the idea all that seriously. After all, writing a book isn’t easy. But my grandmother, as her own stories so wonderfully illustrate, is not someone to be put off by things that aren’t easy. Little by little, one chapter at a time, she hand-wrote her stories for me on sheets of Fed-Ex notepad paper.
As I typed my grandmother's notes into my computer, I would sometimes ask her questions and get her to add as much detail as she could remember. Before long, a book started to take shape. And while we don’t expect to win any literary awards, we’re proud of our efforts. We hope this brief account of a life lived fully and fearlessly will serve as both a family memento, and as an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of writing their own life story. — Claudia Graziano
Ida Graziano is an Italian-American grandmother and great-grandmother who lives in San Jose, California. She enjoys watercolor painting, crossword puzzles, cooking, and opera. Her granddaughter, Claudia Graziano, is a writer and artist who lives in Santa Cruz, California.