It looks like a fairly ordinary journal. If you flip through it, you'll see that there are a lot of blank pages. Only the first 18 pages are filled.
This is the last journal that we discovered as we helped my Dad move into a retirement center last month. Click "Family Treasures" if you haven't already read it. Then click Journals & Diaries to catch up and read the previous posts in this series.
My mother used this journal from 1994-1996. She was in her early 70s, retired, and a grandmother of 13. This journal is not one in which she documented events. It's a place where she kept her thoughts and insights. She put quotes that she found meaningful and wrote how she could apply them in her life. She wrote about her own struggles as the last pages were written after she'd experienced some mini strokes which left her sight impaired and made many of life's regular tasks difficult. She wrote about her desire to know her purpose, to remain useful and be an encourager.
Besides the 18 filled pages in the front, there were 5 pages in the back filled with specific prayer requests for family members, friends, and church needs. Many of these had little check marks, had lines drawn through, or the words "thank you" written beside them.
And I got to keep this book.
I knew I wanted to find a creative way to share it with her other children (my siblings) and her grandchildren (our kids).
Do you know about Blurb? Oh, my goodness! I love it! I use their Bookify to turn my painting blog posts into a book at the end of each year. Maybe that will be another post...
I used Bookify on Blurb to create and publish this.
I had a vision what what I wanted, and I figured and worked and tried and reworked and thought and worked again.
1st - Sentence by sentence and word for word, I retyped the entire 18 pages of scratchy, some barely legible, handwriting.
2nd - I wanted it to be about her words. I wanted it to be a way for her messages of encouragement and wisdom to be passed on. I wanted it to be an honoring her thoughts.
3rd - I didn't want it to be a "book to remember grandma by" project. So I didn't put in any photographs of her.
4th - I wanted to make it easy to read, but I was determined to also keep her handwriting. The very essence of the project was that the wisdom came from her. Seeing her handwriting would keep that at the center.
5th - I used her favorite colors (reds, pinks, purples).
And... this is how how it looks.
Every word from her beautiful, personal (ok, scribbly and hard to read) handwriting on the left-hand side is typed and formatted in a beautiful readable style on the right-hand side.
It's all there in a beautiful little pink 8"x 10" book.
There are truly some wise words inside this little book.
I'll snip & paste a few below. They'll be out of context and without her commentary, but still worth reading slowly.
There were two pages left in the minimum Blurb book, so I took the opportunity to list some of her favorite sayings.
Thanks to a little creativity, a little perseverance, and Bookify at Blurb.com (No, they don't pay me, but I wish they would! I have a lot of good things to say about them!) I feel like her words have been honored.
Spoiler alert, if you happen to be my niece, nephew, son, daughter, brother, or sister.