Tag Archives: memories

FOLLOWER Friday: An Invitation to Write

   This story was written by Sheri Robinson

Ever since I can remember, a journal has been a major necessity in my life.  A collection of raggedy, spiral bound notebooks had to be on tap at all times.  Like toothpaste, toilet paper, and deodorant, it was something I could NEVER do without.  Over the years, the notebooks were upgraded to beautiful hard-bound journals of blank canvas – lined or not – that promised to receive – without judging or interrupting  – my every thought, prayer, emotion, dream, anxiety, fear, and yes, my actual tears.  They were filled to the brim . . . brimming over with “Me.”  They were frayed to the point of duct-tape and rubber band repairs.  They were cherished friends that I could always reach out to, any time of day or night.  And as the years rolled by, my journal “friends “ transcended from therapists to counselors to mentors to surveyors of dreams and platforms for voice and thought.

Though the pressures of motherhood  and career became more complicated, my eyesight not as sharp as years before, and my handwriting more time consuming and less legible,  my ever-present, ever changing thoughts, experiences, hopes, and dreams still continued to expand and fill my mind, dive-bombing in and out like birds attacking mosquito larvae in still pools of water. 
It became absolutely necessary to empty my head… before I changed another diaper, cooked dinner, finished that report, started another diet…before real life crowded into those sacred storehouses of “me,” and pushed them aside.  Eventually,  my journals transformed into “lists” scattered and hastily written on  random scraps of paper – old envelopes, the back of receipts, the inside of empty Double Mint gum wrappers – anything I could find within the contents of my purse. 
(As fellow multi-taskers can attest, there is nothing worse than the feeling that you were supposed to do…are supposed to do… something…really important…but you can’t remember exactly what it is because… you forgot to write it down; you simply stored it somewhere in your already-crammed memory files of to-do’s, tomorrows, and yesterdays.  It haunts you for minutes/hours/days until an unsolicited trigger – a smell, a sound, a random thought – jolts you into full remembrance of what that something is…or was.  The impact of that realization is like falling asleep on a bus, and the feeling of gratitude that comes when you wake up just before the driver arrives at your stop…or the sinking frustration of waking up after the driver has passed your stop…three miles ago.  I’ve had both the fortunate – and unfortunate – experience of both.) 
Soon, I found a neater solution: my journals became the virtual (but printable) pages of Microsoft Word, onto which I would pour both my thoughts and lists.  Keyboards replaced pens and pencils, and a thought that took 20 minutes to write down now only took a few tap-tap-taps…and viola!
Then Life changed…Again.  Fast forward to today.  At the present, the mental demands of a career do not compete for my full attention, and my multi-tasking has gone from cerebral.  (reports/meetings/filings) to physical (sewing/cleaning/unofficially designated carpool mom.)  As far as motherhood goes, one baby bird out the nest, one left to fly.  And all my lists…what lists?! 
I’m writing, again…armed with a host of new experiences and wisdom to fill at least a dozen journals. 
And, Babes, have I got some things to share with you!  Stay tuned!
photo by Rennett Stowe

FOLLOWER Friday: The Cousins

A story by Toni Duldulao

I give up!  The BOBB is my cousin and she has managed to get her sister, son, and friends to write something.  She didn’t ask me but I felt that someone has to represent this side of the family.  After all, I AM FAMILY!  She and Malati are my cousins.  Of course being the first born of our generation I always considered myself the older and wiser leg of “The Cousins”  but in reality I am just older…in fact three years older than the BOBB.

Family relationships can be a funny thing.  As children, we grew up during a time when families got together at Nana’s house for Sunday dinner.  While our parents…the brother, sisters, and spouses talked about whatever they talked about…my cousins and I would spend the day playing, running around the yard, and chasing each other up and down the stairs.  Unbeknown to us we were setting in stone a relationship that has been a lifelong one.

On those Sundays, we could be who we were.  There were no pretensions.  There wasn’t a teacher or an adult telling us how to behave in a certain way.  Of course, our parents did raise us to be respectful to adults and of one another.  They didn’t have to tell us it was just expected and if we forgot, they would remind us.

Now when we do see each other there are the friendly family type greetings.  After a few minutes of “catching up” maybe followed by some quiet awkwardness, inevitably someone will say, “Do you remember when…?”  We would laugh bringing up other memorable incidents of our childhood Sundays and laugh our way back to those days.

Back then little did I know how precious those Sundays would become to me.  As adults, we rarely see each other because we live in various parts of the state.  In reality about the only time we do get together now is when some family member passes away.  Yet when we do see one another all it takes is tapping into that little Sunday memory of decades ago, then time and distance melt away and we become just “The Cousins” once again.

photo by Rich Moffitt


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