Words : Reading, Recording, and Writing
As I have touched, read, felt, and sorted through the tokens of my past, I have discovered some consistencies. I always kept kind and loving written words from those I honor and love. I have discovered sweet messages from friends on birthday greetings, wonderful messages from our sons on holiday cards, and Denny’s and my love letters of forty-five years ago tied with a satin red ribbon.
I packed boxes filled with journals, which reveal my activities, ponderings, faith messages, the prayers prayed over family and friends, and joys and sorrows on Yosemite Drive. These journals recorded over forty years in Muncie with our crazy weather patterns included. I kept them and it will be our sons’ decision what to do with them when I am gone. They are me and I am them. I cannot part with them any more than I can part with the endless scrapbooks recording our sons' life patterns. Parties, games, trophies, friends, and family gatherings are all documented in these albums. Hundreds of photographs show how our lives developed with the blessing of our children. They created new paths, friends, and goals. John and Adam shaped us while we shaped them. Someday they can read the stories and see the photos and know that their mother savored each day of their childhood.
As I cleared over fifty boxes of books from my library shelves, my search for deeper truths and an understanding of the character of God was obvious. I could part with most of these books because I had perused and read them enough that they were within. They could leave my shelves now and serve their truth to someone else.
Many of the ousted books held novels that I was “going to read”, when I retired and had long days to fill. Having been retired over twelve years, I am still looking for those long days. I have chosen to use the Fort Wayne library for my fiction reading. Some of my" how to write" books were packed carefully, and others were distributed to writing friends. I kept almost all of my art books because I am still on an uphill learning curve. I kept a giant box of poetry books because their words pluck the cords of my heart.
I gave the Mission a large box of new Bibles. Why new? Denny and I had almost every new Bible that came out the last twenty-five years. Some I marked up and wore out the pages. Others have countless tabs and reference tags. My favorite is held together by duck tape. The newer ones were given away, so others could read through the precious words recorded so many years ago. Those words are truth for a lifetime. Those are words we will hear in eternity.
This is what I have discovered in my purging and sorting. I can part with almost everything except words. Words create my hope, my visions, my oasis for my spirit, and my life’s landscape. Because I have taken time to write descriptions of each day, each year, each adventure and trip, I can reread many of my memories. My journals hold the fragrance of happiness of our days past. I can leave my house, but I will take my precious memories in words recorded through the years. Words have given me life and meaning. I am so grateful for the Word of God that has read me as I read it. I never tire of Biblical metaphors, mysteries, and messages. I have experienced wonderful seasons in Muncie and now will continue a new season in my spirit, a new season of listening and learning what God has purposed me to be, to do, and to learn.