Life Lessons

I was working over at Grandma's Diary, finished up, and mosied over my Technorati links and saw that the most recent link to the diary is a girl in her 20's (I don't know her at all . . . I don't think?) and from what I have found by reading one of her entries, her father passed away when she was 13. She now has his diary (how blessed she is that he had one and that she was able to get it) and posted an entry from it at her blog. It spoke volumes to me. You must read it, too.

This entry reminded me of some important lessons as a wife, as a human being as I (humbly as possibly) walk this world, but especially as a parent. Reminded me to cherish the tiniest things, to listen, and to talk. It especially reminded me that I must continue to keep a diary.

Some may say "Why in world keep a diary?". Because keeping a diary is not for yourself (well, maybe to help you remember experiences, special moments, not-so-great times that somehow taught you something) but honestly, to me, it's for your children. There's not a more important reason than that, right?

For me, I have really learned this as I now am reading my grandma's diary and as I post her entries. Her words are touching total strangers and they are teaching myself, my cousins, so many people in my family, about my grandma and grandpa's lives . . . but from my grandmother's view point and exactly as she saw it, and not second-hand from someone else trying to trace back.

Diaries tell so much about you as a person, about what life was like growing up. It can help your kids relate and think "wow, she/he was just like me". I mean, just imagine how your words could help them in a troubled or painful time by showing them that you had a similar experience where you made it through with diligence and what you learned from it. You might be gone, but this would be a way of still being there for them . . . with them. And today, with life as a child being as confusing and full of pressure as it is, there is no loss in doing one, well, except maybe time, but you're taking time to read this, aren't you?

I am so thankful I have kept a diary since I met Neil in 1993. And when I got pregnant with my son, I started a diary in which I address it "Dear Noah" in each entry. I don't keep up with it anymore like I should be doing so on a daily basis (thanks to a new bubbly soul walking all over my house!), but I definitely am going to try harder now. (I have one for Maia also.) I know for many of us, blogs are a replacement to our journals, diaries, hand-written thoughts, what-have-you, but they aren't going to do any good in this arena unless you print them off. If this is why you are blogging, please make sure you save and make sure you print.

Anyway, just another ramble from me. Something I have learned greatly since starting this Grandma's Diary online at the end of 2006, but also something reinstalled as very poignant and powerful after reading this girl's entry of her deceased father.

Her entry also made me think of my mom, who lost her dad at the age of 12. I know she wishes she had a diary of his. She does have many of his things, but nothing, absolutely nothing speaks to you like a diary does. Nothing speaks like your own words.


Johanna said...

I used to be so much better at journaling than i am lately. I think you have inspired me to begin again. My favorite thing used to be the graditude journal. I did that for YEARS! It was such a fabulous way to end the day- writting down everything that I was grateful for. It was such a fulfilling feeling; and helped turn even the worst day into something good. There is always a silver lining. I loved when I read over that journal recently and found an entry from the very first time I met Jason. It said something like "For Mika's friend Jason who I secretly think is cute. Today he made me laugh and smiler brighter than I have in a long time." It reminded me why I fell in love. One thing that I also recommend is writing letters. Jason and I write letters to each other every year on our anniversary. Its such a nice thing to do for each other and it is such a nice way of reflecting on the year- especially in these, our first few years of marriage.

it's me, Val said...

Awww, Jo, that is so precious!! I love that. And I can see Jas doing that to you . . . well, cuz I have seen him make you grin so hugely! That's just so neat. Another blogging friend made me think of a list I made Neil when we first started dating and it started out as a list of 100 things I love about you", and it grew and grew and grew. I need to find that. It's burried someplace. I would probably find it and laugh and laugh, yet still feel the same feelings about him, plus hopefully more . . .

Anyway . . . isn't writing the best?

Thanks, dearie!

lil ole' me..... said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Writing is such a legacy. I started a prayer journal after I became a Christian and while the entries are sometimes a bit on the sporadic side, I continue to write in it because I hope that someday my children will read it and realize how God was working in my life.
And, it's funny how you said that you have your "Dear Noah" book. I want to do that too, for our future children. I read a book by James Patterson "Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas" (a must, by the way!) and the mom in the book wrote a journal just like that to her child, as soon as she found out she was pregnant. As soon as I read that book, I made up my mind to do the exact same thing.
Your books will be so precious to Noah and Maia when they grow up.
Thanks for this post Val. You are so right- nothing speaks like your own words. :)

Anissa said...

Got your package today! Thank you so much the kids and I had a good laugh or two at some of those pics!

I started journals for both of my kids I need to start back up. Looking forward to reading this other blog.

Michelle said...

So so true!! Love the anniversary letters idea and the why I love you list! SO great!

Thanks for the reminder to pick up that pen again.

Jen said...

Thanks for the reminder to print off my blog
when I was preggy with Daniel I made a preggy journal in a ring binder :)

amanda said...

I love journals. I started one for Lydia when she was born, too. I wouldn't mind her reading the ones I wrote as an adult, but the journals I wrote when I was a kid & teenager. Ooh, I'm blushing just to think about it! ;) Beautiful post!

Alexis Jacobs said...

Thanks for the reminder. I need to print mine off. :)