No genealogy today. Just rambles, or as I like to say, freestylin’. Instead of thinking about those long-ago ancestors, this is a week of remembering actual people in my life. Yesterday was Mom’s birthday and last week my favorite aunt’s. They’re both gone now, and I miss them.
We tend to downplay our own lives. Whenever I mention keeping a journal listeners complain that their lives just aren’t worth writing about. I found my teenage diary this week while cleaning out some boxes, and sat down to read what my young self had experienced.
On what must have been about 80% of the days, I wrote: “Nothing happened today.” As I thought back over those years, I remembered the days I didn’t write about.
I didn’t write about learning to drive in the Murphy’s old 1948 Oldsmobile, a tank of a car. With my older cousin directing me and my younger cousins in the back seat we roamed country roads and I learned the rules of the road and yes, several times learned what NOT to do.
I didn’t write about one night when my teenage boyfriend thought it would be cool to drive through the high water on Boatman Road. I was pretty sure it was a bad idea (actually, I was terrified).
We probably hadn’t driven more than 10 feet into the flood when the car stalled. The silence after the car died in which I could hear the water lapping on the door beside me still haunts my dreams. Thankfully, the engine re-started at the turn of the key and Steve wisely and carefully backed out of the water.
I didn’t write about the summer night I stood on a hill and saw a huge field completely covered with what must have been millions of lightning bugs. I still remember thinking to myself, “I will remember this always.”
I did mention that my baby sister was rushed to the hospital, but I didn’t write about how scared and responsible I felt as I oversaw the household and my siblings for nearly a week while Mom was gone with her.
Church family and friends brought food and one night I sat a cherry pie on top of our oil heating stove. It cooked. No one would touch the dark brown mess that resulted, but being the responsible temporary adult, I felt I had to eat it. It’s what Mom would have done.
I didn’t write any of that stuff.
I wrote that Becky liked Kenny and Susan like Sam and I liked Steve, and I wrote that “Nothing happened today.”
But it did. Life happened.
That’s what I should have written.