The Importance of a Letter of Explanation…

I’ve been thinking lately about why I feel it’s so important to journal (and for those of you, my offspring who might have wished to see something of my own hand, I tried that from the time I was 12 until I was in my mid-20’s and the fire destroyed all those 10 journals. So I’ve decided this is much safer and probably more legible for all.)

Just yesterday, Victoria was taking a bath in the sink and I noticed that Cait had something gooey in her hair. So I decided to take the extra time to take a wash cloth to that sticky spot. She was not very excited about the whole ordeal. In fact when I was through she was complaining that her hair was wet. So I decided to appease the poor girl and blow dry the wet spot, which she also did not appreciate. I was having a little talk with my down-spirited little girl, I was trying to explain to her that I love her, that is why I did that for her, if I didn’t love her I would just let her run around with goo in her hair, I wouldn’t ever brush or braid, or bathe or scrub my little rascals. But she did not seem to believe me, she hugged me because I told her to, and she frowned all the way to bed. :)

There is this part of me that wants to get my kids to like me more. Who wants to be the bad guy right? But as a mother I’ve learned that I have to set those emotions aside. God hasn’t called me to be the children’s friend first; He’s called me to nurture, to guide, to discipline and friendship is on the list it’s just not at the top. But I do look forward to those days, where our children are our peers. Just because they aren’t our peers now doesn’t mean that we don’t learn from them, we are constantly learning from them. Each of them have different qualities that they bring to the table, each of them provide a different outlook into our own lives and when we take the time to listen to the depth of their hearts, we see God’s lessons unfolding right in front of our eyes.

I’ve often wondered. What will my children/grandchildren think of me when I am old? Will the understand the struggles I had as a mother, will they be bitter at the times I spoke harshly to them, or will I have walked in a manner that they know that I was a sinner in need of God’s grace just as they do? I pray with all my heart that my example leads them to nowhere other than the cross of Christ.

I’ve also been thinking about my dear Grandmother, Jean Webster. She is still with us and yet she is so absent in spirit. We don’t get down to see her very often as we live far away. But in the last couple years, the times I’ve seen her it’s as if she was not really seeing me. It’s hard, because we all love her dearly, and we remember and miss those days when she would shout and sass about a game of Aggravation, or Mexican Train. Or the joyous times we’ve spent around the piano with her, singing and worshiping. And as a wife and a mother I’ve also enjoyed many days where I would just sit and talk, about being a mother, about her and Grandpa in the early days, and now I talk and I think she is listening. Every once in awhile some of the lucky ones will get to see a piece of her these days. Like a few weeks ago when no one could get Grandma up, my cousin Naomi brought her tiny just days old little Feliz over to meet great-Grandma. She wouldn’t wake, then baby Feliz started to cry, you know, that precious little squeaky newborn cry, Grandma instantly sat up and reached her arms out to hold the baby. That is the true heart of our dear grandmother, she loves babies, all of them, whether they are hers or someone else’s, we know that we can at least get her to open her eyes if there is a baby around, she will even wake for a puppy if it’s really cute and they all are! :)

My aunt Terri and Sandee have been blogging some of grandma’s writings. It’s been so sweet to read these stories, and to hear the humor, deep emotion, and passionate love she had. It’s her. Medicine to the soul for those of us who miss her so much (I’m sure that’s all of us!) Then one of those writings she mentioned me, I was just a little girl, and there was this prick in my heart, “grandma thought about me!” It’s been so long since I’ve seen her on one of those lucid days, and the story she was writing became so real to me all at once. It was really in that moment that I could truly understand why I write these journal entries. It’s for my little granddaughter one day who will be wishing to talk to her grandma again, and for my dear daughter Cait who now understands why I would be so cruel as to brush and braid her unruly hair. It’s for my sons who will one day wish they could talk to me and hear me talk back to them. It’s so that I can say all those things that are in my heart. I love you, love you all from the bottom of my heart, and I’m so very thankful for each and every one of you!

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5 Responses to The Importance of a Letter of Explanation…

  1. Naomi says:

    Ok… so now I’m crying! I’ve been thinking the same thoughts about journaling as I read Grandma’s writings. You put this so perfectly Jenni :)

  2. Terri Henry says:

    I’m crying now too! Thanks Jenni for sharing with us your heart. I have never been into journaling and as I read and post Grandma’s writings I wish I had been, or even could be. But my contribution to our history is posting grandma’s I guess.
    It is amazing to have your children be your friends, when they are older, Jenni. They appreciate the discipline that was bestowed on them in their youth trust me. I’m so proud of all my neices, and my kids for that matter, for the awesome job they are doing raising their kids. Love you all very much…Auntie Terri

    • Jenni says:

      Thanks auntie and Naomi:) I agree auntie, what you are doing by sharing these writings with the rest of the family is very important. Grandma would totally have been a blogger if she was younger these days! I’m thankful to be able to read what she’s written it really makes it feel like she’s more with us:) love you both!

  3. Jacki Backus says:

    Jenni, thanks for writing this and sharing it with us….love you so much.

  4. Jenni says:

    Love you too auntie!!

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