Thursday, January 6, 2011
Found My Girlhood Diaries
While putting away our Christmas decorations, my husband lowered my memorabilia containers from the high shelving in our garage. I wanted him to bring down the boxes because one of them contained my childhood diaries.
In the first plastic bin, we found my kid's old baby outfits. They were cute colorful sleepers that brought back memories of chubby cheeks, little hands wrapped around my fingers, and long hours spent nursing and singing them to sleep. I compared the white baby shoes with bells on them to my 13 year old's big shoes as he was lying down reading. We marveled at the changes.
The second box had awards, yearbooks, birthday cards, and the diaries. I wondered if there would be any good to them. Had I written any details I'd since forgotten? And would any of it be worth reading? I raised the silver diary with a red colored rose on it to my nose. That one used to smell like roses. I inhaled. It had lost its scent. I opened the diary and started reading. Streams of tears were sliding past my cheeks to my sweater before I finished the second page. To my surprise and delight, I was a very detailed writer since then. I wrote about how much my dad had spent on groceries $129.89 (for a family of 6 kids, mind you) and how I tried to talk him out of spending so much. I noted what time the kids my mom babysat were picked up and that after they left, I would push my grandmother on her wheelchair to try to help my mother with all her responsibilities. There were details about all my everyday nuances that are so irrelevant and yet so meaningful today.
The following quote was at the bottom of every right hand side page in the diary:
"Without anything special but write it down is better than with something special but never write it down. Sweet and tender memories are also the trace of past time."
Retrieving these diaries after over two decades, was like receiving a gift from my younger self. In that moment with tears in my eyes, it was as if my younger 12 year old self was there handing these journals over to me saying, "Here take them."