In an excerpt from her new book, the co-author of the best-selling "To Our Children's Children" shows how her family tree came to life with the help of written memories.
When my daughter and I both lived out of town and would come to visit my parents, we'd sleep in one of my brother's rooms, which still contains his little-boy beds. My mom has enough space in her house for us to sleep separately, but we chose this room so we could spend the night together and trade magazines back and forth across the great twin bed divide.
A family tree hangs on the wall beside the bed my daughter slept in. It is a semi-elaborate work, drawn in gold and royal blue ink. It was presented to my grandmother, my Nana Amy, for her 80th birthday. It is actually more a chart than a tree, a chart consisting of squares filled in with names that diverge and connect with each other.