Monday, January 24, 2011

If My House Was On Fire, I'd Save My Kids, My Wife, and Then...

     20 years ago this month I started a journal. I have no idea why, I just did. Maybe it had something to do with the date being January 1. No one modeled it for me, no one advised me to, I just had an empty spiral bound notebook and wrote "journal" on it, and it was so. The entries were very titillating: "Got up today. Went to Math. Went to chapel. It was good. Ran into Scott S. and we hung out for a while. Went to lunch. Did some homework. Ugh (as in caveman grunt)." THAT journal is certainly no piece of great literature! But over the years I kept writing, and I began to appreciate writing and notice how authors spun a tale. I began to write about the EVENTS of my day, not the mundane routines. Prayers and revelations from my Bible study found their way in there. Memories I wanted to keep fresh, romances I had (there's a topic that spared a few trees' lives), my love story with Marty, and a journal always accompanied me when I was fortunate enough to travel the globe.

     When our babies entered our world, I had a whole new reason to write. I had to get down my feelings about them, the funny and poignant things they've said, my mistakes in raising them, my cries to God to help me parent as He does...

     52 journals later (and still counting), they have now become my legacy. I cherish the thought that when I'm gone, my kids will have answers to so many questions that I'm not able to ask my own parents now that they're gone. I'm not afraid of them discovering just how imperfect I was, as long as they see that I still had a heart for God and tried very hard to please Him, admittedly failing here and there... and there, and there... I imagine that corner bookshelf that holds them in one of their houses, and when they get together for the holidays, Ella, let's say, will ask Julia for the next journal of mine to take home and read, maybe to her kids. Maybe the one where my sweet second daughter was born because the details of that day were recorded in great detail and Ella will always know exactly how I felt about her from the day she was born.

     So here's to 20 years of journaling. Stay tuned and you may just hear about my first book getting published!

Heres that infamous first "journal."

Some uber-cool ones I can't wait to fill! Superhero and peanuts journals rank high, especially if they're nostalgic. 

Some favorites. My youth kids thought I looked like Dwight from The Office (ouch!), so my wife bought me a Dwight journal (double ouch!).

More favorites, Peanuts, classic Loony Tunes (from the defunct WB store), and Animaniacs.


Gabe said...

Is that an Alex Ross Flash one on the bottom right? That rules. Great collection, bro. I stand, I stand in awe of you.

tbwriter said...

Wow, that is so amazing. My daughter is 6 yrs old and I started writing stories just for her when she was born and I even took a class when I went for my BA in Creative Writing from SFSU called "Journal Writing". The class was a blast and I learned a lot of great information about the great author's of yesteryear. Wrote a Children's Book out of it, have no idea if anyone would be interested in publishing it, but it certainly was a joy to write. Thanks for sharing and I would love to hear more. May you and your family have a very blessed day.