There’s a shoebox full of letters bound up neatly with some twine. Each one was like a diamond, now the jewel is lost in time…
Mary Chapin Carpenter
The nightly news shows it every time: flooded out neighborhoods, the charred remains of a home with its surviving chimney, homes swept away and covered with mud. What do people return looking for first amid the destruction after loved ones are accounted for? What do they frantically, desperately, sift through the rubble searching for?
It’s the photographs, the letters; the pieces of their lives that show where they came from. Who they loved. The personal. The private. The papers. The irreplaceable. Their stories.
I am struck by that. Again and again. “Oh look!” they say with tears in their eyes…”We found it!” And they hold up smudged and torn wedding photos or a framed graduation diploma, now cracked – or a love letter still in its envelope. As if they had won a lottery. And in their minds, they did.
Which leads me to this blog.
By the grace of God or whatever… I still have them. Photographs. Letters. Diaries. Journals. Stacks and boxes of them. Plus scraps of paper with scribbled half sentence thoughts, ideas and observations. Some musty with age but intact and still legible. Modern day time travel? Perhaps. By default or design, I am the family archivist.
Letter by letter, word by word, in this blog…I will try to honor my small piece of history. It took place within the larger whole of the world around me as my world grew within. From the age of 9 I felt the need to record what happened. Now retired from career and parenting (well, one never really retires from parenting, but theoretically speaking…), I can revisit and discuss and share with those who may relate (or not). But who knows…maybe I’ll figure out why life worked out the way it did. Including why in heaven’s name I wrote down all the TV shows I watched.
There must be a reason why I kept track of so many details all those years.
And saved all of it.
Here goes…Diary 2.0