Day 11: Momma Journal

“Here you go! A gift to you girls from your momma and me,” Dad said as he passed out the packages. We were all sitting in the living room around Christmas time having a family meeting, my sisters and I waiting in anticipation as the items were distributed. The presents in question were individually wrapped and rectangular, and we tore through the paper to reveal what was hidden underneath.

“They’re journals,” Momma said. “Over the next few months, I’m going to sit down with each of you, and we’ll write down our favorite memories together! Feel free to trade your journals with each other.”

After a few switcheroos and a puppy dog look from Tabitha, I landed with the journal I considered the ugliest of the bunch, as was usually the case as the youngest of six children. It looked, however, like I was going to be stuck with it, so I called out, “Momma, my book isn’t pretty like Tabitha’s!” She replied back to me plainly, “What? Polka dots, Stripes, AND multicolored?! It’s full of character! If you ask me, Tabitha’s looks quite bland compared to yours.” She smiled back at me warmly, and just like that, my opinion about the journal changed. I immediately got out a pen and began to customize the inside cover…

During the last three months of her life, Momma took the time to sit down with each of her daughters for some “quality time.” We would tell our stories while Momma wrote down the memory. At times, she would write a letter for us in its pages. And after she died, her daughters would be free to write their thoughts about her and look back on the precious memories. It didn’t click in my mind at the time that as early as two weeks after she was officially diagnosed, Momma and Dad were already preparing for her death, that giving us these gifts and several others was meant to be a coping mechanism and a way to remember her after she was gone.

My Momma Journal contains the last words Momma ever wrote to me, and some of the only words of love and advice she ever wrote directly to me, and every once in a while, I’ll write in it myself and let her know what’s going on in my life. Over the next ninety entries of this series, I’ll be pulling some excerpts from its contents. I’m thankful for all the words and the memories and reflections that I continue to hold close to my heart.

-Sara Joy

P.S. I’m back! I plan on being more consistent now that final exams are over 🙂

~ by Sara Espiritu on December 21, 2019.

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