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Maggie, a reader at the book club, asked me a question. I posted it in yesterday's column, and readers are responding.
The Question: "...I have a question about journals. Sometimes I've started a journal discussing some things in my life that my daughter and most of my friends don't know about. They are things I probably wouldn't want to be public. I'm now nearly 70 years old. Should I destroy these things before I die and my daughter sees them?"
"I've been keeping journals for years, collecting and storing them in a box. I thought one day I would get married and perhaps hand them down to my children. Well, guess what? The joke was on me. I never had children. But I kept the journals anyway. Then came the day when my parents had both passed away, and it was left to the children to go through all of their belongings. Luckily my brothers and sisters were great about divvying up the estate--but it still left a lot of things no one wanted to claim. Much as it hurt, so many things were either donated to charity, or simply thrown away. That's when it hit me: I don't want to leave that horrible task to someone when I leave this earth.
I use my journals as a cathartic depository of my thoughts and emotions and ideas, but I never go back to revisit them. So I went through boxes of journals and separated out a very few keepers, journals I kept while traveling abroad. Then simply destroyed all the others. I didn't want any strangers reading them, and I had no need for them any longer. I didn't allow myself to start reading them, to revisit my past--I simply 'let it go.' I did that several years ago, and I've never regretted it for one moment."--Nancy
"...back around the time I graduated from college, I was dealing with some difficult personal issues. I had no one to confide in, so I worked out my thoughts by writing letters that I never intended to send, or even to show to anyone. Fast forward several years, and I am a happy wife and a busy homeschooling mom. After a move, I was sorting through some boxes of old books and things, and I came across those spiral notebooks with my writings in them. It was painful to read them. So much had changed in my life since then. Some of it mentioned specific people by name, and most of it was just plain embarrassing. What if something happened to me and my husband and kids discovered those notebooks? I decided it was time to get rid of them. Fast forward several more years. I am again dealing with some difficult personal issues. Some of which began all those years ago. Counselors are helping deal with the issues. I am learning to accept myself the way I am, and not worry about what others think. I would give anything to have those notebooks back. I think it would be very helpful to the person I am now, to go back and visit the person I was then, even the pain and embarrassment. I still don't think I would want to share that with my family, but I truly do wish I still had those books, for me."--Sherry
How would you answer Maggie's question? I'd love to hear your thoughts and so would Maggie. Tell me what you think. Email me at: Suzanne@DearReader.com
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: With so many new books out every week, we promise these titles deserve your attention:
LIAR'S BENCH by Kim Michele Richardson
CARESS OF PLEASURE by Julie Kenner
WICKED WOLF by Carrie Ann Ryan