If I have one regret so far in life, it’s that my journal keeping skills have been rather haphazard.
Oh, I have some in books, some on the computer, some blog post, some facebook statuses (actually, i should find a way to gather all those up – I think that would be my most comprehensive journaling to date – so sad), but nothing like I wish I had now.
I suppose, with all the things I had to do in life, writing in my journal seemed less important. Now, praying, and scripture reading, and child rearing received top billing, and rightly so. But journaling was cast by the way-side. If I was going to take the time to write, then it was going to be on my books, etc. There were so many other things to do that were so much more important than keeping a consistent journal.
I was wrong.
So very, very, wrong.
I would give anything now to have a record of Lizy’s life and my memories of her. The few I have, I cling to, afraid the memories will slip gradually from my fingers leaving me with nothing more than a gaping hole in my heart. I devour every word I have written about her, conjuring up the images of her through the years. And how I wish I had written more. SO much, much more.
Since I wasn’t big on journaling, I didn’t push it either. Oh, I gave them journals, but I only encouraged them a little, and now, I wish I had made it a bigger deal. The first thing I did was scour her room looking for anything in her own hand expressing her thoughts and feelings so I could feel close to her. I found some, but I wished for more.
It does little to lament the past. I can’t change it. I can’t make words magically appear on paper from years past, but I can learn from it and change the future.
I am going to be a devoted journal keeper. I won’t let the days slip past without writing about the wonders of the days, my feelings, the amazingness of my children.
My father has brain cancer. I think I mentioned that before. They suspect he has less than a month left and the one thing I am so grateful for is that I have a record of his life, his experiences, his adventures. Robert won’t ever meet his grandpa in person (just over skype) but he can still know him because he has faithfully kept a journal.
I want my kids, grandkids, great-grandkids to know me. I hope I never have another experience like Lizy, but I don’t want to take a chance. I want a record of their amazing lives and experiences – both from me and from them. I yearn and crave Lizy’s words and memories. I want to wrap myself in them. I miss her so very much. I am grateful I have what I have, but so disapointed I didn’t write down more.
I know I can write now, and I will, but it’s not quite the same – remembering rather than being in the moment, but it will still be something.
President Spencer W. Kimball said, “I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations. Each of us is important to those who are near and dear to us and as our posterity read of our life’s experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in that glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted.”
Please, if you are inclined, learn from my mistakes. Tragedy can come when least expected. I would hope that it evades you completely, but don’t take the chance. Keep a journal. Write down everything you can about you, about your children, you family, your experiences, your adventures. I promise it will be a comfort to you if tragedy strikes and it will touch the lives of those who will read it in the future.