My late grandmother, better known as Grandma-ma, kept journals.
This fact I did not know until we discovered them while cleaning out her apartment after she passed away in 2012. Dating back for about two decades, they were mostly journals of gratitude, reflections on her faith, and a little bit of her day-to-day life. I have read through a few of the more recent entries, and wrote about them on my old site, which as I talked about in my last post is now hopefully somewhere not resting in peace. But I digress.
Just after she died, I read journal entries just about every night. Seeing her handwriting and her words allowed me to hear her voice again and I was grateful for those pages. Over time though, reading them began to feel a bit like peeking in on someone in the shower. I wondered whether my grandmother, tough cookie that she was, would want to be seen at her most vulnerable. She was outspoken and had she wanted to share what she was writing she surely would have spoken out loud. So I read her journals until I didn’t feel right about reading them and then I put them down.
Yesterday I was having a medium day and I picked one up. Ever since my life toppled over I have had different days. Sad days. Angry days. Occasional happy days, but more and more I have medium days, for which I am grateful. When everything just feels ok. Livable. Doable. Alright.
I was cleaning off my desk, because my basement flooded and as such everything needs to be moved from one room to the next and those kinds of things right now are the spice of life. And the journals are all on my desk. But this little red notebook I didn’t recognize as a journal. So I opened it to see what was inside directly to a page that read:
“My granddaughter is so beautiful. I noticed a boy was smitten with her before we got on the bus to the Eastern Shore. I was watching her, but she didn’t know it.”
And I remembered that day and I remembered that boy and I remembered that Eastern Shore trip. I was probably 14 at the time and I’ve rarely thought about that boy or that trip since. And I did not know that she was watching me. And who would have known then that more than 20 years later I would be so thankful for a mildly memorable trip and a very forgettable boy and my grandmother for writing about both of them. Because more than 20 years after that trip and 5 years after she left this world she could remind me on a very medium day that I am beautiful. I am loved. And that she is watching me.