Lindsay’s post about MommyBloggers , and whether they are exploiting their children got me to thinking.
I guess you could call me a DaddyBlogger since 90% of my posts are about my children. Am I exploiting my children? Will they one day hate me for what I am writing? These questions roll around in my mind. And then I remember the Letters in the Old Trunk.
My grandfather was a man of few words. He was of the generation that grew up during the Depression, and came of age in World War II. My father remembers him as a stern man, but my memories are of a quiet but very loving grandfather. He never told me he loved me (men in my family just do not do that), but the look he gave me on his deathbed when I was 18 told me all I needed to know.
Shortly after his death, we were sorting through his “stuff”; you know, the pre-estate-sale kind of scouring a family does when a loved one dies. It was then that we opened the old trunk that had always been shut in his bedroom. Inside the trunk were the astounding letters. They were letters he had written to my grandmother before they were married.
They were beautiful. Poetic. They told an incredibly romantic story of a man who set out to make his way so he could provide for the woman he wished to marry. They told of hard struggles, setback, toil. They told of loneliness, longing, love.
Suddenly to me, the man I had only known as my dad’s old dad – came to life. Now, I could see him not just as a sick old man, but as a young, vibrant man desperately in love and struggling to make his way. They filled in the holes in my perception of my grandfather. With The Letters, I not only grieved the death of a sick old man, I also could celebrate the knowledge of a Life Well Lived.
I am definitely my grandfather’s grandson. There are many things I could NEVER say to my children face to face. So, I write them down, and strangely enough, post them for the world to see. Hiding in plain sight, as it were.
We have no idea what the internet will look like in 10 years, much less 40. But hopefully, when I am gone, my children (and grandchildren) can cling to my words and hold them close like a grainy photograph. Someday, they can look at my silly posts about Halloween, Christmas, elections, raking leaves, television shows, and the rest, and get a clearer picture of who I was. If anything, they will know that I loved them more than life itself.
Maybe, just maybe they’ll see the evidence of a Life Well Lived.