I found myself thinking many times, though, of a realization i've had in the past few months. While i went through a decade of mourning the absence of a Mother, realizing my mom did not provide the comfort or safety or counsel that one needs a mother to provide, my sister has had me. While i am not old enough to be her mother, my eleven years in advance have allowed me to see bits of life and learn, and then pass that back to her. We spend hours on the phone: she comforts me sometimes, but i feel i have coached and counseled her in a way i never had.
The warmth and love she and her children poured over me was such a blessing.
My own parents were delighted to see me, too, and i did enjoy going through papers with them as they deal with the files they have packed along over the years -- and papers they have inherited. I transcribed a great aunt's letter to my father, a Southern Gothic character if ever. I flipped through dozens and dozens of postcards collected by my grandmother, most without any inscription, but found some that are small treasures.
Mom passed me a box of things she had saved of mine, and on top was a calendar with journal entries from the year before i married. The wrenching emotions of one entry greeted my eyes, and i folded it shut. I passed the box back and said it wasn't my stuff but things she had saved, gently inviting her to discover her journal. I know she's burned many.
I don't know that i have much written from my painful years of growing up, even though i kept a diary like mad.
To continue tomorrow....