For Christmas of 2000, I had given my daddy a journal with the inscription: “the best gift we can give anyone is intimacy, sharing our thoughts and feelings. Please jot things down once in awhile for me so I will have them as a gift forever.”
For those of you who know me, I’ve been working to get to know my dad for quite some time. I hadn’t realized it was this long. He passed in March, and as we were cleaning things, I found this journal with only 2 entries (above) that were written, a year or so llater. I never knew he had even written anything in that journal… And now, 14 years later, his words mean so much more to me. Below are two of his journal entries if you’re not able to read the above.
I found this book while digging in my library closet 9-11-2001, the day New York City was bombed by terrorists…Hope to have better news later – Papa
9-17-01 – NYSE opened at 9:30 EST looking good – We’re doing better already…love to all my children and grand children…God Bless All of you and God…Please bless all of the world….America needs you now.”
There’s so much that I notice here! Without knowing, I use ellipsis all the time and didn’t know why except that I like that kind of pregnant pause. I must have learned that from him or at least picked it up by watching him. Seeing it in this journal was super cool. Another thing I noticed was that since his death, I have found little notes like this. He often thought about us and prayed for us, even though we never knew it. The VAULT speaks on paper….I’ve probably not said this before, but when we were younger, my dad wrote a lot…and I know that my desire to write comes from watching him spend much time doing this. I do wish he had done it a little more because he was so good at little quips of history and dating everything! (newspaper articles, cards, letters, etc.) I don’t date things enough, but know its value.
So the advice I leave with you there is so much we don’t know about a person. It takes time to “find gold in the soul.” Sometimes it takes years for the intimacy to appear. Notice…learn…be patient…and just enjoy…Little things will be revealed in their own time.
God Bless America and its beautiful people on this day and years to come.
I LOVE YOU so much AMERICA!!!
September 12, 2015 at 6:36 am
A nice memory, your emotion while writing this post is palpable. Well done.
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September 14, 2015 at 8:11 am
This was such a fine tribute to your father. I wish I had asked more but there were things said which gave me much comfort about my Dad. I carry a big Rubbermaid tub in my car trunk and when I head home to see my Mom, I find my brothers aren’t ready to look at his paperwork and “stuff” yet. It has been 14 years now. . .