On the eve of Saturday, July 20, I watched a movie called “Life Of Pi”. There were a few scenes that saddened me, but none so deeply as the part where the hand written notes flew out of the boy’s hands.
The next morning, I was cleaning my room. I had a few of my old journals in a pile, and set out to put them back where I normally store them – in a big bin with the rest of the past 23 years worth of them.
I remembered that a few weeks earlier I’d had necessity to temporarily store the bin in my 19-year-old daughter’s room in the basement, so I went downstairs and asked her for them. She handed me an empty bin, saying, “You mean this? I’d been using it for shoes…”
She pointed at a pile of boxes in the living room, saying, “The journals might be in there somewhere.”
It was a daunting mess that had accumulated as a result of my daughter having moved from one room to another, wherein she had rearranged various items I’d kept stored in the spare room, but I finally got through all of it after several hours.
None of my journals were found.
I searched the whole house and property, asking everyone if they had any idea where my journals might be. Nobody claimed to know. One family member said they had seen them in the basement a few weeks ago, and, as they realized they were not in their usual place, they put them back to where I normally keep them.
I’ve been beside myself with heartache over losing these hand-written accounts that spanned half my life, dating back to 1990, including details of all my pregnancies, births, cute events from the childhoods of my kids, stories from living in the wilderness of Alaska, and so much more.
I’ve had a lot of trauma in my life, but the journals represented the everyday and the good. I could look back at them and remember that things weren’t always bad.
I wanted to save those journals for my kids as a legacy, but now they are gone.
It is hard to shake the fear that my daughter is lying to me about not knowing where they are. I suspect that she wanted the bin for shoes while she was rearranging her living quarters, sought out the bin, removed my journals, disposed of them, and didn’t give it another thought until I asked about them. Even if she is behind this, I’d feel better knowing than not knowing, and I would forgive her if she told me the truth. She knows this. We discussed it. Yet she insists she doesn’t know anything about their whereabouts.
My heart is broken. I feel like a large chunk of my physical body has been removed from me. I feel violated. I feel I am in limbo, not knowing for sure if the books are gone for good.
I cry sometimes as I think about it. I don’t know what hurts more – the loss of my books, or the thought that they might have been thoughtlessly taken by my own adult child who is lying to me.
With writing I do on the computer, I can and do back it up. With hand-writing that fills book after book, it would take years to scan and save it if I worked at it eight hours a day.
I am trying to be strong about this and get over it. I know it is only a material thing, not a life, that has been lost. Still, it feels like a part of my own life has been lost, and so it hurts accordingly.
I think back to how deeply I felt the pain of the boy in Life Of Pi losing his hand-written work. Little did I know it was a foreshadowing of what I was about to discover had happened to me.
Have you ever had your hand-written work disappear? How did you heal up from it? Or did you ever heal up?
UPDATE: I forgot to update this post. A few weeks after I wrote it, the journals were found in a tiny room beneath the basement stairs, behind the water heater.
Taking heart in the other post I published today: A Beautiful Spirit