I love books. Not all books, mostly the old, dusty classics of the past. They contain such rich language and words that we never hear anymore and when I listen to those stories of the past on audio book, it's even better. Right now I'm listening to Little Women on Audible's "10 Masterpieces you have to read before you die. Vol:1." Hearing the book read with an English accent tickles my fancy and my ears. One chapter of the book is the mother's counsel to her four daughters to not marry for money but to seek a good man who will love and care for them and that she does not wish anything more than, "I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good." Little Women is one of those classic stories of overcoming challenges, heartache, failures, and hard earned successes. In other words, it is the journaled life of an Average Joe.
Recently, I was rummaging through a large Tupperware of family photos and came across a book written by E.J. Jernigan called Tin Can Man. It is the author's memoir of WWII life in the Navy aboard a destroyer called the USS Saufley. My father was First Class Water Tender (WT1) and worked below deck in the Boiler Room of that ship. He is captured in the photo above (top right) alongside other young sailors. Both the author and my father entered the Navy at age 17, and only months later were at Peal Harbor when the Japanese attacked December 7, 1941. Reading a book by one of my father's shipmates allows me to glimpse into the author's life as well as see my father's experiences which he seldom shared with his family. I am grateful to the author who made it possible for me to gain understanding of the trauma they experienced through the pages of his book.
Yesterday I was at the store buying supplies for our offices and in front of me was an older gentleman and his wife. He was sharing with the (also elderly) woman checking out their purchase that he and his wife were both going to turn 90. He wore a baseball cap with a veteran patch and I envied to stay in their presence as they chatted away, but all too soon they picked up their groceries and left. I yearned to sit and listen to their life story as he shared that they had met in the 7th grade and he had approached this girl and said, "Would you go to a wedding with me?" The girl said, "Who's wedding?" He said, "Ours." The gentleman laughed as he shared the story, and his wife, with crooked fingers and wrinkled skin, gently touched his arm (Can I get an "Awwwwwwww"?).
Everyone has a story to tell. The story of your life should be captured and shared with others. If you are living a challenge today, write it down. The future will unpack the victories and successes and someone you will never know might be grateful for your words like I am grateful for E.J. Jernigan's story.
"A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous."
Proverbs 13:22 (NIV)
DAY 42: Journal