A great understanding of life and love can be found through the written word.  Some people have learned the value of keeping a journal.   And they are kept for various reasons.  My husband  kept a journal when he was in Korea and most of the years we were married with very short entries.  It was basically a reporting of major events in our family with some economic notes thrown in.  They are invaluable.  If someone wanted to look up one of our children’s first steps, or diseases, or vacations, it is all there.   We could always refer to those journals as to when various pets came and went from our lives.  Also recorded were the tragedies and triumphs.   They are priceless books.

Other people keep journals when they are going through some really tough times.  I remember keeping a journal going through all of the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment choices and all the fear that followed.  It is almost too hard to read.  The agony stretched out on those pages is very real, so it is tucked away some place.

Another form of journals as we know it are blogs.  I first started blogging at dadamo.com.  My doctor, Peter D’Adamo has several blogs of his own.

Throughout the ages, many people used to write letters.  Famous people end up having their letters donated to a university.  And some families that wrote a lot of letters can go back and read them and relive part of the family history.  This is something that is just not done as much anymore.  An email is just not the same as a letter, but it can be printed out and stored away as a letter.

My husband wrote a lot of letters when he was in Korea, and always regretted that many of them were lost.  Well, I just found some of them.  They are a priceless recounting of his war experiences. The lesson here is when you bring boxes from your mother’s house, look in them and don’t  just pile them in a corner of the basement for 20 years.

I have in my possession some priceless letters and my mother’s journal.  She kept one for about three years in the form of a diary.  I never read it much until after I had my own children.  One day when I picked up the diary, I realized something really important.  It happened to be a week after we had been visiting relatives in Cleveland.  My aunt was talking about the time her two sisters went on a trip to NYC to a grocery convention and met my mother there.  Her family was also in the grocery business.  I’ve always known about that.   And I knew from that connection, my mother met my father.  However, what I didn’t realize was the beauty in the details which were in the diary.

Apparently, at the time of that train station meeting, it happened to be my father that picked up his sisters.  It could have been anther one of his 4 brothers.  They introduced my father to Mildred (my mother) and invited her and her family to a picnic at the farm.

At this picnic, my mother states in her diary that she had a marvelous day, and that “Bill H gave her a rose.”  Bill was my dad.  I realized right then and there that for my father and mother it was a case of love at first sight.  I can’t even write this without getting choked up.  I knew so little about my mother, but her feelings came jumping out on that journal page.

From that rose picnic, they saw each other all the time for three years until they married.  And most of those encounters are included in the diary.

There is a letter in my possession of a description of my parent’s wedding.  It was written by a girlfriend of my 19 year old uncle fighting in World War II.  It described everything in such beautiful detail, the flowers, the dresses, the music, that I felt I was right there.

I was born three years later, and one of my uncles was still in the navy, so my father and mother wrote him a letter describing my christening in great detail.  My mother also wrote a letter to a friend about that day.  It was Palm Sunday 1946.    Here are some of her words.  “Yes, Marilyn was a very well behaved little girl in church, and she looked like a little angel in that beautiful satin and lace long dress.  It will be a service that I shall never forget.”

Those happened to be the last two letters she wrote. My mother, Mildred Chylik Holasek died at age 33 on Easter Sunday the following week.  I was eight weeks old.  You can imagine what a priceless gift those letters are to me.

I guess what I’m saying here is never underestimate the power of a diary, journal, letter, blog, or email. One day it might be a priceless gift a family member reads to get a better understanding of life and love.

But I might add that if they are not printed out, and kept in a special place all of those emails and blogs and other precious writings could be lost.  I have my beloved Holasek family to thank for keeping those letters for me all of those years.

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