Why I Write 03 10 2010
My Grandmother (Nee Isabel Roth) was diagnosed with the “where all one mind” illness when she was about 40 years old.
My father, mother, sister and I would visit her at the Marshfield Clinic. She had a tremor in her jaw and her tongue would stick out and her mouth was often dry. We would sit there with her on the front yard of a clinic, where there was a swinging park bench. As we sat I would see an old man with a self contained leer riding around on an adult sized tricycle.
Sitting there with her I realized she was a gentle kind lady. There was an aura of love that surrounded her; even a boy’s will be boy’s type of boy could feel it.
She was compelled to utter these words as best she could through her dry mouth. “I’m the Queen; I’m the Queen” she would repeat. Trying not to stare, I did not know what to think of this. I could see something about her that did not seem crazy.
She would ask for things for my father to bring to her on the next visit like a comb or a watch. And she would emphatically say, “There’s money in the bank. There’s money in the bank. There’s money in the bank.” Her mouth would move as if someone was trying to prevent her from talking. I now know she had the same problem thinking.
She was a little gal made skinnier from the affliction. When we left her and went back to Milwaukee I would worry that that guy on the tricycle or some man in the white coat might take advantage of her. One time I made my mother ask her this and she laughed earnestly and said, “No.”
Knowing that this disease runs in families, I tried as best I could to prepare myself for it if it were to strike me later in life. In addition to my business school classes in college I took as many psychology courses as possible.
She was always writing things on little pieces of paper. Things that made sense to her but nobody else understood them. I thought in the same manner as she did when I was young. I knew about things but not how to explain their complexity. And I am sure what she knew could be explained if she were able to clear her head or if the knowledge were available to her to comprehend them better. I vowed that when I wrote it would be meaningful and understandable, or not worth doing.
About that Queen she thought she was. I was interested in my lineage, particularly because of her and because I was very good at picking winning takeover stocks when I was in college. I wondered if there was any basis for this. My father told me that a lot of Rothschild’s changed their names to Roth when they came into this country from Germany in the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds. I read a book on the Rothschild’s the Jewish bankers. It turns out that they made a large banking investment on the outcome of a war they could not have possibly known on a factual basis and won that bet.
My Grandmother wasn’t the Queen of Franks but our ancestry does indeed go back to the Queen of Franks, one of the earliest Nobility of Germany. I am not, per my research, part of the lineage descending from the Rothschild banking family.
Isabel was never respected by her family and forced to do work on the farm where they had nicknames of animals for each other. I thought of this the other day when I was in church. There was a little girl sitting with her family in the front row. She was disrupting the mass and wouldn’t stop talking loudly. At that age a child thinks they are more important than anyone else in the world. This does not happen as often as I like, when a child is misbehaving in public, but finally her father picked her up and cradled her to his chest and walked back to the back of church where we could no longer hear her. All the way back she was screaming, “I won’t stop talking! I won’t stop talking! I won’t stop talking!”
I won’t stop writing.
Thomas Paul Murphy
Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy