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Sandy Reay


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 Learn About Sandy Reay Follow The Sinister Umbrella Share Your Stories You Are the Road, a Memoir 



You Were The Road That Led Me Home, a 1940s sepia print of an old hotel that was onverted to a general store with two stories of apartments above it and an 1940's slope-back car parked in a dirt road just below the railroad tracks


You Are the Road That Led Me Home

How old photographs and letters helped me find peace with my father and write a love song

by Sandy Reay


In 2010, when Sandy wanted to promote the songs on her first CD, I Wanted to Fly, she commuted between her home along the Front Range in Colorado and Scottsdale, Arizona, to help her mother and clean out her parents home. During the three-year process, she found about a hundred pages of her mother's family stories and about four hundred pages of letters her father wrote home from Europe during World War II.

In 2012, when the smoke from a forest fire damaged her lungs and limited her energy, she used her three-year down time to turn those stories and letters into books for her family. They inspired her to write You Were the Road, a song about lost love. A Nashville music publisher advised her to make the song more positive and universal, so she wrote You Are the Road.

As she transcribed and edited her parents books, she wrote her reactions to what she read, in chapters of a book which became the first draft of this memoir.

The title song of her first CD, I Wanted to Fly, opens with "Daddy and I never saw eye to eye."

In Sept. 2022, Sandy emotionally gutted herself like Rembrandt's Slaughtered/Flayed ox and turned one chapter, which included the lyrics to the title song, into four chapters. The three new chapters include physical and emotional abuse and abandonment—until she found the strength to standup for herself in her late 20s. The story doesn't stop there.

After that month-long excavation of the deep dark corners of her memories, she took a break from rewriting version 10 of this book. Healing takes the time it needs.

In January, 2023, she took an online class in writing non-traditional nonfiction and memoir. It brought back memories and inspired her to write about her father and other adventures/experiences.

In October, 2023, she participated in a 4-day online seminar about using memoir to heal. One of the timed writing exercises in the seminar opened her to a way to tell the story she hadn't expected. She's been writing more in her memoir. It looks like the next version will be different.

She's looking forward to completing Version 11 of her memoir and hopes to have it published before she dies.


You are the Road Meme

If you'd like to discuss memoirs or related subjects, please contact Sandy.

Check out Sandy's songs, You Were the Road, and the newer version, You Are the Road.

The 1940s photo (above, left) shows the four-story former-hotel where Sandy lived with her parents, grandparents, and sister until she was two years old. Her grandfather's store was at ground level. His car is shown in the bottom right of the photo, below the railroad tracks.

Sandy remembers visiting her grandparents there.

Meanwhile, she's been writing about stand-alone memories. A micro memoir, My Rock, illustrates her relationship with her father. At this time, Sandy has no plans to include this story in her memoir.