Awhile ago I had posted on my facebook wall that I had found my old diaries. I asked friends and family what should I do with them. After reading The Joy of Less I have been picking at each room, drawer, cupboard, closet, nook and cranny to clear our house of the debris we have let accumulate and rob us of that clean space. Some things I have easily let go of, others I knew had a firm place in our home always. When it came to my old Diaries it was hard. I had started writing in them when I was 8 years old, even without them I have always remembered what my first entry was, how my dad had gone fishing and caught a Chinook. It was complete with a crayon picture as well. I knew what many of those pages from there on were about. Some pages told of the sibling rivalry I had with Aja, I only ever seemed to write when I wasn’t happy with her. Some pages told of first crushes, sometimes I used names others codes I had come up with my girl friends like Freezer boy etc. Many pages told of heart ache and break, of the boys I once had faith in that left me standing there alone, of the boy I had first given my whole heart to and didn’t work out (Love isn’t all you need). The last pages told of my journey west and the big move I made and the start of my life with my husband. Funny how just when life was getting interesting (at least for my kids to look back on) is when I stopped writing. I thought long and hard about whether to keep these relics. About the secrets my kids would one day find when they read them (hopefully after I was gone), I worried about the person they might have thought me to be and if I wanted them knowing those things about me. Some it was just fluff and silly, but some of it was my soul. I also thought about the period where I didn’t write (I have started to write again slowly over the last year and a bit), where it would have been good for them to know and read. To know of the struggles I faced as a young mother, how it wasn’t always easy for me. How I felt with my depression and anxiety, that maybe one day the would see me as something more.
I decided to put that decision on hold. Many of my friends made great suggestions, some keep ideas and some to toss. I figured I knew where they were and that I had many other things to clean up and could revisit them. Well this past week I embarked on the task of sorting my old pen pal letters. It was seeing these and sorting through them that gave me a clear answer. I couldn’t part with these things. I wanted my kids to see my old letters and use them to piece together parts of me, and that even though reading some things in my Diary might make them squirm (I do believe the S E X word is mentioned in there a few times), it is still part of me. I don’t see me handing them over willingly to them, but one day becoming a discovery to help bond them together. For them to laugh over and learn new things. So safely tucked away in a box they will remain.