Pen in hand. Empty Journal in front of me. Time to write some more. It’s always something I’ve tried to do on a regular basis.
I just returned from a week’s long trip. Where I was, it really doesn’t matter today. I may tell you about the trip later. I started a new journal on the day I left. The old one was full.
Somewhere, in all the clutter in my attic, is a cardboard box. It’s chock full of old journals. Some are fancy hard-back books, others are nothing more than a wire bound composition book. That’s where the old one will be in a day or two.
For more than forty years, I’ve written and covered pages with blue inks, black inks, the gray scribbling from number two eagle pencils, mechanical pencils from the dollar store and ball point pens from hotels, banks, insurance companies and no telling where else. Whatever would make a mark at the time, well, that’s what I used.
Let me tell you how it all started.
When I was about twenty-five, one of the roughest, toughest, hardest working men I’ve even known, said he kept a journal.
I was shocked. He never even kept a ball point pen in his shirt pocket.
He told me “Every morning at 5:00 am, I sit down, drank a glass of orange juice and write a few words about my yesterday, my thoughts for today and my thoughts for tomorrow.”
“You need to start your own.” He said. “One day you’ll know what I’m talking about.”
My oldest son is 43. I have the notebook where I described my first night as a father. I was home alone, for the last time, I thought. Mom and son were in the hospital. He was four or five hours old. His life had just started. I knew our life, my wife, my son and I, had also just started.
That “close one door behind you and open another door in front of you” type of thing.
I had a lot to think about. I wanted those thoughts to stay with me forever. I wanted, maybe, for him to read about the greatest moment of my life up to that point. We had two other children. I wrote about that first night with them also.
We had ups in our life. Great news. Great fun. Great Adventures. That was fun to write about. It still is.
And, on some of the pages, the ink is blurred with my tears. The last Thanksgiving with my Grandmother. Holding my father’s hand as he slipped away. A friend who lost his son, a kid born the same year of my son’s birth.
There are the hard times that I can look back and laugh at today. The foolish times I’m just glad I survived.
As I said, I was gone for a week. We have granddaughters. One has a journal and is starting to write about her hopes, dreams and wishes.
I think girls call them diaries. Men call them journals.
We were talking about my trip and I mentioned that I had written several pages, trying to capture the sights and my thoughts. My granddaughter was in the room.
“Grandpa, will you let me read your journal?”
I’ve been writing for more than 43 years, waiting to hear those words.
Yes, my dear. Anytime you want.
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