We’ve been talking with our grown kids about the end times—our end times. We’re not going to live forever—surprise, surprise, and we want things to be as easy for them as possible when either of us goes, especially their last parent, whichever that may be. We’ve written a simple will and had it checked out with our lawyer, even though there’s not a lot to leave.
The next question is whether to write specific directions for special things we own (special to us, not necessarily to them). Since I hadn’t come to a decision about my journals, I talked that over with my family again. I have a hundred journals and counting.
As I wrote, I was conscious that someone might read them someday. When the “kids” were honest, though, they didn’t want them. Such tomes from a parent would be hard reading for any kid and it really isn’t the kind of reading either of them cares for. Besides, we’re all trying to de-clutter as well as we can and the journals take up quite a bit of room. I completely agreed and understood, and surprisingly I was relieved instead of hurt.
After more thought and prayer, I got some insight about my true feelings. Until our son and daughter were perfectly honest with me, I hadn’t been honest with myself. I got up one morning with the decision to read the journals through and then shred them. I hadn’t realized how worried I’d been for years about dying suddenly and someone being hurt by them. You see besides writing good things, I figure everything out by writing. I analyze people, and share any questions or puzzlements I may have about life—with God. I complain all I want to and at times, I beat myself up about my own shortcomings. That’s all quite boring and I wouldn’t want anyone to have to wade through it.
So what I’m feeling now is anticipation. I’ll keep writing in journals and I’ll keep them to re-read as long as I want, but near the end, if I have any idea it’s coming, I’ll do what my mother did when she was ninety and shred all the evidence. Apparently, it’s a fun thing for a ninety-year-old to do. If I leave a separate writing, I’ll simply ask that the journals be disposed of or the materials recycled in some way. That could be as simple as taking them to work and asking if they can be added to the company’s shredding plan.
As for leaving something—I have written the promises God gave me for the family in a small red velvet book. All the promises came true. Whoo! I’ve had another small book for a long time someone might like. That’s enough. Families have each other’s genes, traits, loves, and joys. They care—and they remember deep down in their souls. That’s more than enough.
God gives peace.