It has been over a year since my mother died at age 94. In the last several years of her life I traveled to NJ to visit her nearly every month—and now I feel that just wasn’t enough! Before her death, she insisted that I take the three decades of her personal diaries and her travel journals home with me.
Yesterday, I finally mustered up enough gumption (courage) to browse through some of this material. It is a strange feeling for a son to peruse his mother’s diaries and sort through her keepsakes. It was an emotional moment, for example, when I held in my hands, Mom and Dad’s wedding certificate which I found tucked in her Bible. They were united in marriage in 1939 by Rev. William C. Snowball in Belmont, Ohio. The marriage continued for sixty-two years until Dad’s death in 2000. They increased the world’s population by seven—seven children. How fortunate I am to be one of the seven!
Mom wrote down in her diary each time one of her children called her and then underlined the entry. Each visit was duly entered and underlined too. No wonder she could tell us who called and when! No wonder she could remember when we visited and for how long! It was not wise to question her about such things, for when questioned, she would pull out her diary which proved her right every time.
The diaries also record her journey: her ups and downs, her joys and sorrows, her worries and frustrations, her irritation with her failing eyesight and hearing, and her grief (missing Dad and losing friend after life-long friend to the inevitable). Much of this she shared only with her diary. Now the diary is sharing Mom’s journey with me—a deeper and more profound journey than I ever knew!