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October 27, 2004 - Wednesday, 9:13 a.m.

Life, Love and Family

There isn't quite anything as beautiful as sitting and looking out over the city in the fall. That vista of green has turned gold and red... and then finally a gray color as winter sets in. The yard softly calls my name, but the list of things to accomplish that requires I stay in the house grows ever longer. With a soft sigh I turn from the yearning call of Mother Nature and work on my homework.

This past weekend I spent Saturday at my mothers. We worked through a number of boxes she brought back from the farm. It was the boxes of scrapbooks, photo albums, journals and miscellaneous piles of papers. My father was hoping we'd end up with a large bin of trash and a small pile of 'keepers'. However, I couldn't find a way to part with much of it.

There were a couple boxes of stuff that belonged to my uncle Marvin, my mother's brother. He was always a quiet man, and I didn't know him very well. He never married, and unexpectedly in the winter of 1976 he killed himself. It devastated my grandmother, and shocked his siblings. No one saw it coming, but my grandmother questioned herself a number of times wondering if there wasn't something she could have done. Marvin kept journals, and from the dates on them it looks like he started shortly after he returned from Korea. Most of the entries were short and often referred to car maintenance or the weather. Some entries would reflect on the death of his father or other events, but most were impersonal. Two boxes. His diplomas from college, his PE stamp (Professional Engineer), a penholder that sat on his desk, his dog tags, his class ring, his high school graduation picture and a box of journals… his whole life. No children to carry on his existence, just those two boxes. GAH!! I couldn't bear to throw much of it away. What could I possibly need his PE stamp for? I don't know, but it sits in a box in my house now, along with his dog tags. My heart weeps for him. Perhaps all I will ever really know of him is contained in the 5 or 6 journals of his that I kept, and the love I have seen for him through my mother and grandma.

My grandmother picked up his journal in 1976 and finished off that year for him. She had much more to say, and reflected much more on life. From 1976 on she purchased the same brand of journal and continued to write and buy them until 1997 when her handwriting started to get pretty shaky. There were even a couple of spirals that she'd written in... journaling. So much to read. Those of us that journal do it for ourselves, and yet it often lets another reader step into our mind, into our hopes and dreams.

I spent the next couple of days dreaming about an office were I could lay out and organize all this information, I have so much now. Perhaps one day....

I managed to finish my midterm for my OPTM class. Glad to have that done and handed in. It was handed in last night. Done!!

Yesterday afternoon my mother called me at work. I could hear the catch in her voice and the tears in her throat. My sister, Lynn, went in for an ultrasound yesterday, due to her age it was a standard procedure. However the results were not. No heart beat. My heart clenched in my chest as my mother told me, and my eyes welled up with tears. There are no words. What can one say? Always there must be some purpose for everything... first the surprise of the pregnancy in the first place and the work to incorporate that into the vision of her life... and then to have it torn away. One might ask why? The answer? I don't know... it is an answer that perhaps will unfold itself in her life. For me, the reminder of the rhythm of life... the great joy that life brings and the great sadness of a life gone. I dearly love my sisters and all my nieces and nephews. What would life be without all of them? It would be nothingness I fear.

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