One diary entry that I made back when I was young enough to play with dolls still cracks me up and reads like this: “Today I took a spelling test and I funked it.” I’ve been a notoriously bad speller my entire life. Every day I thank the gods of spell-check and electronic dictionaries for making my diary keeping less of a chore than it was back in the days when I wrote everything out long-hand. A pencil with an eraser is still my writing implement of choice and wouldn’t you know it, I’d end up married to an ink pen collector. Don was a good speller and when we first knew each other he couldn’t understand why I’d wear down all the erasers in the house before the pencils were too short to use. And as smart as he was, I’m still shaking my head over the time he found me sitting in the car, balling my eyes out and holding up a pencil with a broken point. “Don’t cry! Don’t cry. I can fix that!” and he ran into the house to sharpen my pencil. Another woman, of course, would have known right off there was more to my wailing than a broken piece of lead. Guys! They can be endearing when they’re clueless.
Because people write diary style in blogs and forums on the internet, I see a lot of broken hearts and broken dreams on the widowhood site that I frequent. I see a lot of pain created by financial issues caused by the death of a breadwinner. I see a lot of anger and confusion brought on by finding out a deceased husband was having an affair or by in-laws who are less than supportive. And I see a lot of people who have lost their faith in God. I see all the same kinds of issues and coping methods that I saw back when I was hanging around a stroke support site after Don’s stroke. Sad but true. Change is hard and it’s easy to forget the rest of humanity goes on when own little corner of world stops and takes a giant breath. I’ve been lucky. I haven’t been disillusioned by circumstance or people in my widowhood and if I need to vent, I have my diary/blog and I think that helps.
Writing, diary keeping or blogging---whatever you want to call it---to me, is a way to empty out my mind when all my thoughts are fighting to see who gets to be king of the mountain. I hate it when they fight! I hate it when my thoughts chase each other around and punch and kick one another until one idea or the other goes limping off with a bloody nose. Writing soothes me and brings my life into focus. If I empty my thoughts out on paper then I can organize them, edit them and lay some of the more mundane or destructive thoughts to rest in a dignified manner than doesn’t require a first aid kit. Thank you, dear diary! And other times it’s just plain fun to spend an afternoon reading old diary entries like the time I was reminded of a long ago live concert I’d attended featuring Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. I wrote about it a few years back in a blog entry titled American Graffiti that can be found here. ©