. Copyright © 2018 by Michael Haibach.
I never thought much about the faces we let the world see and the ones we keep well hidden behind a mask. But we all wear masks to some extent. The sad thing is they mask much more than people think, and for a lot longer.
I also never did reveal to my grandmother my secret before she died, but somehow she knew. Not what it was, just that I too had been living a lie, hiding behind a mask of secrets. My secret didn’t compare to those my grandmother had spent her entire life hiding, but still on some level she must have been aware that we both were hiding something; perhaps that’s what bonded us so closely. We connected in a way no one else in my family ever had, not for generations. I like to think that’s why she finally confided in me, instead of continuing with her masquerade, and burying her secrets even deeper.
Through this unexpected journey my grandmother allowed me behind the mask she had worn almost her entire life. I not only gained a deeper understanding and sensitivity to previously unexplained family traits and behaviors. I also uncovered their origin. Now they make perfect sense. I also learned the insidious effect that lies and secrets can have on a family for generations.
It’s funny. The truth that we thought would destroy us doesn’t. The lies we told out of fear of the truth weren’t really necessary. And the secrets we keep safely guarded at all costs, only mask getting to know the deeper, much more fascinating person we kept hidden from the world. Your past is your past, and although it may be insightful to visit it once in a while, it has no power on your future, unless we let it.
My journey into writing AMAZING GRACIE was very much like fitting the pieces of a puzzle together to finally reveal the hidden truth. A stunning portrait of a young girl who survives the shocking destruction of her poor-yet-loving family, and rises to become a woman of strength, courage, tenacity.