I have a calendar sitting on my desk, a "Dayminder" week-at-a-glance calendar. I've used the same brand for more than 25 years. I have kept all of these calendars, thinking that when I die, my posterity will know me by what I did, where I was going, who I was with.
It's also my excuse for keeping a pretty sketchy journal; I have multiple journals, but they aren't really filled with daily thoughts and doings, more like dated notes taken during a seminar, thoughts on a particular issue, pointers from my therapist. Hopefully combined with my calendars, my children and their children will have an understanding of what type of person I am/was. Some of my writings in my journal have been pretty blunt, some filled with anger, some hopeful, but definitely not sugar-coated - kinda like this blog.
I have kept correspondence - e-mails, letters, cards, over the years, all in folder files with the year on the tab. So I have files of "Correspondence [year]" going back about 20 years. Perhaps my relationships with others will be noted by the preservation of these. Years ago, when e-mail was becoming a form of correspondence, I would copy all of the e-mails for that year, put them in a binder, and save them! I ended that after a couple of years. Now I wonder if I should be saving my e-mails on a USB drive rather than in folders on my computer and backed up on a cloud. I want my loved ones, and perhaps others, to know how I communicated, and to whom I communicated.
When Tyler was serving his LDS mission in Hawaii he wrote home once a week, and his letters were filled with detail. I typed up each letter and e-mailed it out to friends and family. I've also kept my typed letters, and Jenna's letters, to Tyler. At one point the missionaries in Hawaii were encouraged to not complain in their letters home, "It will worry your parents." They were only to write about the good things that happened. This didn't stop Tyler, though from sharing the ups and downs of his mission. How do we learn about life if all we read about is happy, kind, joyous, beautiful, butterflies in the sky material? His bluntness, along with his very humorous take on missionary life brought us closer to him, took us on that 2 year mission together - we experienced his life vicariously, because of his writing.
Which brings me to - life is filled with ups and downs, and I believe it's important to record the bad along with the good. I want my posterity to know that I was busy doing good things, yet I struggled with trying to juggle home, family, career, self, and there were days when I wanted to quit work, school, family, but kept on going, because that's what "we do." And if I edit my writings for my "audience," then I'm depriving them of the opportunity to get to know me - and then who can I blame but myself when I am misunderstood, mis-labeled?
I have heard from so many people about this blog. "Thank you for being so honest, thank you for being so truthful, thank you for showing me your hurt, thank you for sharing your fears. That brought tears to my eyes, that made me sad for you, that makes me hurt too." Hurray! In my mind, that's what I hope I am doing - sharing me - my bumps, bruises, bald head, scared me, so we can all be honest on this journey.
If we don't taste the bitter with the sweet, how do we know the sweet? My life is not bliss, so I can't share that. I will not pretty-up this cancer journey - we all need to share our hurts - myself included.
Happy Monday -
PS - Damn good weekend - anemic, dehydrated, tired, fingertips are numb and hurting, body is dry, dry, dry, yet watched some good movies (if you're over 40 and married, watch Hope Springs), ate some good food, cuddled with my honey and some grandchildren, and went to church - first time in 3 months, and listened to beautiful Christmas music. Record this!