About fifteen years ago, I thought it would be neat if my mom and dad wrote down some of their memories for me to keep. I purchased journals for each of them, the kind that are filled with prompts and questions. I couldn’t find any for parents, so I purchased grandparent memories.
In true fashion to their personalities, Dad filled his out (mostly) and got it back to me right away. Any information he left blank, I wrote more questions on sticky notes throughout the journal and gave it back to him to complete.
Mom didn’t want to fill hers out. She was always, always such a private person. So I didn’t press for her to do it.
Then I forgot about the journals.
Fast forward to Mother’s Day this year. I’d gone to visit my dad, since we’d only lost Mom a few weeks before then. It was such a hard day for all of us.
That evening, Dad asked if I could email something for him. I was sitting at his desk with him, the phone rang, and he wandered off to talk to one of his cousins. While I waited for him to return, I leaned back in the office chair and looked at the bookshelf next to the desk. I’d seen that bookshelf dozens of times in the weeks prior to Mom’s passing, since I was there with Mom and Dad more than I’d been at home. As my gaze drifted over the books, it was as though one suddenly stood out to me. In fact, it might as well have had a spotlight shining right on it’s spine.
Slowly, I pulled it off the shelf, opened the book, and cried, because Mom had filled it out after all.
And finding it on Mother’s Day, when I was missing her so, so badly made the day seem a little better, like she’d left me that gift to find when I needed it most.
She included stories I’d never heard her tell, details from her childhood I didn’t know, and things about me that made me feel so incredibly loved. Not only did every word written in that book mean so much to me, but I cherished the fact that I had something written by her hand.
Dad found the journal I’d returned to him to complete, and when I came home, I brought both of them with me.
With Father’s Day quickly approaching, I encourage you, if you are a parent, or a grandparent, or even a beloved aunt or uncle, to fill out one of these journals. It might seem silly while you’re doing it, but someday it is going to mean the world to someone who is missing you so much their heart aches with every breath. Don’t type it out, write it by hand. If you doodle, draw in the margins. Leave a little something behind for those who will one day be unbelievably grateful that you loved them enough to do that for them.
Because I know firsthand how much it means to have these journals, I’m giving away a set for Father’s Day.
To enter for a chance to win a Mom’s Journal and Dad’s Journal (flowers not included), all you have to do is post a comment below. That’s it.
As soon as you enter that comment, go tell a loved one how much they mean to you. You’ll be glad you did.
The giveaway is open through June 23. Winner will be selected and notified by June 30.