Notes from my Father

Monday, September 10, 2012

After a particularly difficult week I pulled my father’s journal from the bookshelf and opened its pages. The black and brown volume was given to him by my mother as a Christmas present in 1976. He was 21 at the time. His last entry is dated May 10, 1981. I try to imagine him during this time, a young 20-something doing his best to figure out life and going through the various phases of schooling, employment, marriage, and parenting. The journal is just over half full and at times is difficult to read with his uppercase penmanship, but the words, his words, are a connection to a past I never knew. A man I still miss and look forward to knowing better.  

February 15, 1981

Today I got upset at Wendy for telling me not to scold Miranda. We sat down after church and  talked it out. I guess we both have our separate ideas on discipline and we have to come to some sort of compromise in raising our children.

Neither one of us write down that we have arguments or write down too many negative experiences in our journals, because we believe we should focus on the positive. But don’t let that mislead you into thinking that things are always great between us, they’re not. Boy have we had some good fights. We can look back and laugh, but it wasn’t all that funny when it was happening. But we still feel that our journals (if I ever have more than one) should reflect mainly the positive experiences in life.

Reading this made me laugh. I don’t doubt that my parents, during 18 years of marriage, always had it rosy. But such sage wisdom is what I hope to reflect in my life. In this blog. Does that mean I won’t encounter difficulties or have occasion to rant into the void? Certainly not. But finding the silver lining is something that takes practice. I appreciate this attribute in so many people close to me and it is a constant reminder for me to choose happiness.

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