It’s like waves which keep sloshing up the shore on a breezy day…comes up, goes down, comes back up, goes down. My desire to leave a legacy that matters, but the lack of urgency to make sure it happens.
My sons are not interested in family history right now. Can’t really blame them. I wasn’t very much at their age either. Hearing conversations my dad had with relatives about so and so..when they died. Where this person came from….it bored me and was like dull elevator music which you can block out of your consciousness.
In the last few years, I am awakening to the fact that life marches on pretty quickly. Now’s the time to do things that really matter. Say things that encourage. Write a real handwritten note. Tell them you love them. “Don’t delay!” That’s the little voice inside of me which I often disobey.
Which story and where to begin? How to share, so they benefit people? Who would want to read them? Many stories of the generations stirring up and rising like waves.
One desire is that my grandchildren know my mom’s story. She left a great treasure of 32 years of diaries which she kept every day. From the tender age of 15 until age 47 when she died, she barely missed a day. Mostly factual, and not filled with emotional epistles. But as I read them, and adding in tidbits from older siblings and other relatives, I can begin to “read between the lines.” As I turn the pages she slid her hand across late each night, I can almost hear her saying the words she penned.
Since she died when I was so young, I long to just curl up next to her and listen to her read about her day. The quilt wrapped around me would never be as warm as my mom’s actual presence.
A few times, sneaking out to sit on her lap as she wrote with only the flickering light of the TV-barely audible. Anticipating my oldest sister returning from a date. The smell of the ink pen, the cotton of her nightgown. The gift of her cursive after a long hard day as a farmer’s wife and mother of six.
Now those waves come up, get my feet wet, urging me to tell a story that impacts. I may be a motherless daughter in some ways. But she was around long enough before and during my seven years, to leave meaningful imprints in my soul.
What if I don’t tell the story of my mom, my grandma, my great aunt, my uncle, and great grandfather? Who would? Who knows but God, if I only have today.
What would be lost forever? If I’m the one who should have done it, and don’t do so?
I wonder about men who have stories of grandmothers, or daughters who have stories of fathers? Special waves that come up on your “shore” and remind you of proverbs learned?
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I loved this blog post, Myrna! So convicting for me. And your picture of your mom’s diary looks exactly like my grandma’s diary pages. I will bring one along to our next meeting. This next chapter in Zinsser’s book has been very helpful. I’m looking forward to our discussion! Keep writing – you’re a very good communicator.
Hi Denise! Thanks for posting. I might bring one of my mom’s diaries along to our next meeting too! It’s exciting. Thank you, I do love communicating! Now more writing must get accomplished!
I love the metaphor of the waves and shore, Myrna. Sounds like you’re ready to grab those diaries and start writing!
I sure am Beth! I’m not quite sure how to do it though…Thanks for your comment. It’s encouraging.