My mother kept a diary. She had a favorite fountain pen and bought a new hardbound journal every year and seldom missed a day. When dying of breast cancer, she walked me through her house and asked what I would like to have. I asked for her journals. They are the most important part of my family inheritance.
Grandma didn’t write a journal. I had to beg her to write her life story. More than beg, I nagged until she sat down and wrote it out – in beautiful, tiny script that covered fourteen pages on a legal pad. That’s also in my binder, under its own heading.
Mom never wrote about “feelings”. She said emotions change, and she didn’t want to write about a conflict and forgot about the resolution, leaving anyone reading the journals later to wonder if the hard feelings had never been resolved. Later, when reading her journals, I found impassioned essays unrelated to family, and I wondered what had stirred them. I longed to know more about the inner workings of Mom’s mind and heart. Her journals are a detailed chronology of family events, the daily “goings-on” of the King family.
So I decided to start my own “journal” and exclude the day-to-day and write instead about my thoughts, feelings and opinions on a variety of matters. I wrote on topics like: how I came to know Jesus, how He has changed my life, my political views, how I felt during great historical events (man walking on the moon, Kennedy’s assassination, college life in the 60s) what jobs I had over the years and what I learned from each. Instead of using a beautifully bound volume, I use a computer and print out the page for a three ring binder. I collect other things as well: Rick’s communion meditations, his military citations, his written testimony (and a CD after he gave his testimony before our congregation).
I want to share my life with those I love, to be “transparent” about the experiences (good and bad) that shaped my life. Hopefully, my “journal” will encourage (and maybe even entertain) them after I’m gone.
Things to ponder:
What legacy do I want to leave my children?
How do I want to be remembered?
What attitudes do I need to change to be more like Jesus?