Strange that of all the places I would be wandering around it would be Gotham, but it plays a central part in my history, our history.  It’s not something that can be ignored or denied, but it was something that my family thought I should do, even my grandfather which most would find surprising.  He said it was something that I needed to know.  Something that I should understand.  Start at the beginning.

Though it’s not the true beginning not for our House, but it was the start of something different and new for the world.  Everything that I needed to understand about our family I’ve been taught by my family.  I have gone to the beginning there and tried to understand why everyone made the choices that they did. From my mother to my grandfather to my great-grandfather.

My grandmother encouraged me to explore all facets of my family, because they all bring something different to who I am.  She said that that there were many things I could learn and understand by looking into the family history.

It’s one of the things that we did when I went to visit her in Egypt. Learning about the different branches of the family. There were things to understand about the Nelson side of the family that I could only learn through reading my grandfather’s journals and visiting that part of the family and one of the things that Grandmother and others wanted me to understand was that family did not always mean blood.

The people in the pictures were more than friends they were family. They shared a bond that few could understand, few that could try.  Despite the difficult relationship that my grandfather had with who the person his father was there was no denying this was a part of his life. While he may have not accepted the station so to speak, he did accept that this was a part of his legacy.

Complicated.  That is how it was described on more than one occasion.  He had a complicated relationship with his father and the work they were both involved in.  What Grandfather observed could not be unseen.  That which he knew could not be unlearned. In short, he could not ignore all that was happening around him.  He could not overlook situations that required someone to act, but he could do his way.  He would not be guided unknowingly or unwillingly. He would decide how and when he would get involved and he would not do it alone or by trying to play puppet master.

“That is the way that your grandfather wished to engage the world he was a member of. He wanted to decide the man he was to become. He wanted a better life for me and for your mother and anyone that came after. He also wanted everyone to have a choice. He made his choice and he wanted your mother to have a choice. He made his position quite clear, but in the end, he understood that it would be her choice and her choice alone.”

As it would be mine, though there was something about the way she looked at me when she said it that made me feel that there was something more. It was like she knew what my choice was or perhaps the choice was already made. I won’t lie sometimes I feel like the choice was already made that it was already decided not by me or by him, but by something greater than us both, by the force our house was named after.

Regardless, it will not prevent me from continuing the journey.  It just gives me more to think about. Turning the corner my eyes glance up along the building in front of me. Unlike the previous building this one was definitely different.  People lived here.  People trained here. For a period of time this was one of the most important buildings in Gotham, in the world, for a time.

I wonder if I closed my eyes if I could see it, if I could hear it.  If I can imagine it as it was before.  The building isn’t in bad shape. It’s actually in quite good shape.  It was a museum for a while, but it was shuddered years ago. It hasn’t been utilized as a base of operations since before the dark times. There was a time when people wanted to see this building razed to the ground.

Superheroes were in vogue one moment and out the next.  People saw them as dangerous. The government saw them as resources to be controlled. Despite his differences with his father Grandfather understood the need to protect what secrets he could. There were those that thought they knew better, but it usually led to situations that are graver than they should have been.  Even worse awakening or gaining the notice of those that they should hope to avoid.

There were some that the government or others could be entrusted with secrets and artifacts, to keep them safe.  Then there were those that believed they weren’t capable. It usually led to problems, conflicts and then you had those that were caught in the middle, those trying to do what they could to keep everyone safe and sometimes making the hard choices that others couldn’t even if it wasn’t someone’s desired outcome.  Happily, ever after wasn’t always the goal and right now this building reminded me that there were a lot of grim endings for the heroes. Grim endings that some want to avoid repeating…if they can.

“Such a bright up the Justice Society of America was, until it wasn’t.”