What does that mean?  I really can’t tell you what it means to you.  You must decide what it means to you. Being a member of our family meant different things to all of us.  I can tell you that we love one another.  That we care about one another, but it was never easy being a member of this family and many times it had nothing to do with the enemies of our House and I say our House, because sometimes it’s better to think of that way. 

I think I had a good idea who he was referring to.  There was a force that had become intrinsically connected to our family that sought to be its guiding hand, good or bad.  I won’t go as far to say that it was a guiding star, because I know for a fact that my grandfather did not think of him that way.  In a lot of ways my grandfather saw him as the enemy, because of who and what he took from him.

Rather than stop I continue.  I read on letting my grandfather share with me what he wanted.   He took time to write it all down. It was information meant for me.  I know this is one of many journals, but it was the first one that I was meant to read.  The others could be read out of order, but this one, this one needed to come first.  In truth it was one of two.

The first one was just every day things that my grandfather wanted me to know.  Lessons that I needed to learn.  He said that our family had certain aptitudes.  One of them being archaeology.  It was our family’s trade whether people believe it or not, the first one that stretched back to my great-great grandfather Sven.

My great-grandfather, my mother’s grandfather began as an archaeologist, but he transitioned to medicine eventually becoming a physician.  My mother, as I had told Becky, studied archaeology.  She knew more about than most respected individuals in the field.  My mother didn’t limit herself to the study of relics of the past she was also curious about people and societies and how they interacted with one another.  She spread her thirst for knowledge to anthropology. I can’t say whether or not it was meant to be, but her educational pursuits brought her to the world of medicine.

Perhaps we’re drawn to it, perhaps its what w know. Perhaps it was just something that was destined to happen.   Hard to say, but despite her collective studies she decided to attend medical school. It was a story I knew well, one that I had been told many times, by father, by my grandmother and eventually my mother.  She wanted me to know that we could have pursuits that lie outside of the family business.   We could find a balance if we wanted to.

Her peers in her chosen fields of study said she was gifted.  She was unlike anyone that had ever met.  She had a way of blending the modern and the ancient, finding remedies to aid in the most complicated of cases.  Some new, some long forgotten.

When I asked my mother about she often told me that she learned from the best.  She learned from her grandfather.  Now this isn’t to say that my mother had an easy life.  It was hardly a case of her getting everything she wanted.  She worked hard for the life she forged for herself.

She gave up a lot and she lost a lot, but where my grandfather let it consume him, she found her own way, she was able to make choices that he was not.  Still, there was no denying that she was gifted.

I find that to be both amazing and frustrating all at once.  At least I did.  When she past to the next life I wondered for a good while, why me and not her. It took me a long time to understand, too remember what she had always told me, that she had chosen the life that she wished to live.  She did just enough, enough for her and enough for the world, no more no less.

She said part of her wanted to keep her promise to her father.  To be a better parent than he was to her. Her father was present, in her life, but not as much as he would have liked to be.  Work kept him busy. It was my grandfather’s one regret, that he was not able to spend as much time as he would’ve liked with my mother and my grandmother.

Shifting my eyes back to the written words on the page I couldn’t help, but wondered what the next passage would be bring, because I was always curious about this particular relationship.  When my grandmother spoke about my grandfather, there was no great deal of reverence in her voice.  Many times there was a hint of irritation, but irritation that comes from mutual respect. Also, a bit of annoyance that he wasn’t there for her to fuss at.

What was it that she told me once?  Death was a convenient way for him to escape my wrath…for now.  Grandmothers.  You gotta love them right?

Your grandmother.  What can I say about her? 

She was frustrating.   She could be quite diabolical when given the opportunity.  She was honest and free in a way I could never hope to be. 

She was an immovable force when she wanted to be.  A warm embrace when she needed to be.   A power to be reckoned with.  Your grandmother was far smarter than I, and far more patient with me than I probably deserved.  She was my wife and the love of my life.  She was everything that I needed in a partner and rival. It was our way. 

Your grandmother questioned everything I did, while supporting me in every endeavor.   She was far more skilled in magic.  She had a natural talent that I envied. I often wondered if I truly embraced all that I was. I won’t say that it came easy to her, but where she embraced it, I chose to erect a wall before me.  

Magic was in my blood.  It was in my life, but I did not want my father’s life.   I understood sacrifice, but there were some things that I could not live without.  She and your mother were people I could not live without.

They were my life and I would do everything I could to protect them. From the world.  From everything in it. From the shadows that lurked the halls of the government, the monsters that crept from above and below.  Most of all I would protect them from him…from both of them.

My grandmother.  When I think about her I smile. She told me once that my grandfather could have been the greatest sorcerer of his generation, but he chose family first. At least as much as he could there were some events that could not be avoided.   He made the choice that his father had never been given. She told me that I would have loved my grandfather.  Once she told me that if she did possess any regrets it was that my mother did not know more of him, but she was grateful for the time that they did share with one another no matter how brief it was.

I visit her when I can.  She stayed with us for a time after we had settled in Michigan.  When she felt I was old enough she returned home, she went back to Egypt.  She said it called to her.  It’s where she was needed.  However, she was only a phone call away, but it was better this way.  My mother was settling into the role she decided to take on and she had my father to support her, but things were changing, my grandmother could see it, she could feel it.

It was my grandmother that instructed me on how to control what I could do.  She taught me as she had taught my mother.  A well ordered and disciplined mind is required for the work that we do. There were lessons and drills every day as far back as I could remember.  I asked my mother once if she had been taught the same way.

She answered me, but there had been so many things she hadn’t said.  A great deal, I felt that she was holding something back.  Something that she wanted to share, but she told me that my grandmother teaches from a place of love, but also from a place of responsibility.  One must be accountable for their actions at all times.  Erratic thoughts could be dangerous when magic was involved and when it manifested itself.

An undisciplined mind could draw attention when none was wanted. It was both my mother’s answer and non-answer that told me all that I needed to know.  However, one night while I was practicing with my grandmother as she sought to know what talents I truly possessed she told me something.  Something that surprised me and now confirmed by my grandfather’s words.

She told me that I had to be better than my grandfather.   She told me that I had to accept that I could be more than one thing.  That it was possible.  That I could find the balance that had long been denied his father and he sought to find.  She said that my great-grandfather was many things, but he possessed innate talent for magic, one that had been passed onto my grandfather who passed it to my mother, who passed it on to me.

It takes different forms.   My mother could read minds.  She was quite skilled at it.  I won’t lie. I hated it.   My grandmother told me that my grandfather could move things like his father.  She told me that he was not as skilled with it as his father partly, because he did not want to be his father despite the love that he had for him.  He felt it would draw a specter to him. See him as a replacement.

Something my grandfather never aspired or desired to be.