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What should I do?

13 Sep

Asking for some outsider common sense advice to a conundrum I’m too close to.  I can’t say I’ll take it, but it will give me food for thought that might help.

First some background: I was mom’s least favorite child, she also loved me and was a wonderful person, we had a good relationship.  I’m also the only one who turned out okay, the one she turned to in her latter years for advice, help.  Mom knew (and told me) I would be the one to go through everything, make all the decisions about her personal possessions.  She also knew a couple of years in advance that she was dying.

The conundrum…

Mom left all of her diaries in one box.  I looked through them briefly and the diaries are a biographical timeline versus a private diary of feelings, but feelings also narrate the words we use.  I made the decision to bring them home.  The other day I needed to go through them to find an answer for another relative.  I scanned the entries for that year looking for a specific name instead of reading anything.  I then boxed them up and put them back away.

I’d decided to keep the diaries because they are a trove of information spanning decades that details the events in the family, the extended family, who did what, and when.  I also don’t want to read them because I wasn’t her favorite child, and despite trying not to, it showed.  I’m afraid to read them, I’m worried if I will read them, they’ll show more of her feelings she tried hard not to show in daily life, and how that will affect me.

What would you do based on the following answers I’ve thought as possible outcomes.

Suck it up, read them and deal with any hard parts by carrying on like you always do, sort of face it head on and get it over with.  Then you can weave stories into the family trees to show who the people are, what they did in their personal lives, not just historical facts.

Destroy them and feel guilty: when someone asks a question you can’t answer; for destroying your mom’s diaries instead of keeping them in her honor; for the biographical genealogical history of two different family lines that could have been put into the family trees to make them more personal.

Keep them and scan for answers if needed, but swear to never read them in-depth and forget any idea of putting that level of detail into the family tree.

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55 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Adoption

 

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55 responses to “What should I do?

  1. Lara/Trace

    September 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I have the same conundrum. I am saving them (numerous notebooks), tucking them away. I don’t plan to read them any time soon. But as you have already said, people in the family might need a date or occasion in those journals – so keep them.

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    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this and sorry I’m not alone as well…thanks Trace

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      • Lara/Trace

        September 14, 2016 at 2:13 pm

        I have agonized too Tao, hours.

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  2. Melanie Long

    September 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I’d keep them but never read in full.

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    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks Melanie

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  3. Nara

    September 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I would say I’d feel I “should” do option 3, but I would probably do option 1, because I’d be curious. I would probably start and then stop if it became boring or hurtful.

    I guess it’s hard to say how you’d feel. I know I’m not my mother’s favourite (although I think in some ways I’m meaningful because I was the first… my brother was the miracle bio child so I firmly believe he is her favourite, no matter what she says). As a child this wounded me grievously but as an adult I feel like I’m completely okay with it and can even understand/empathise with it.

    In the past I’ve often read things I shouldn’t have read and it only ever upset me. I think I’m fairly good now at dampening my curiosity, but then I know I’m someone who puts my hand in the fire to get burned rather than stay away.

    It depends how you feel about her. Recently I found a bunch of artefacts from a previous relationship that had hurt me a lot… Love letters and so on. I am over it now and I threw them away – I hadn’t felt ready to before in our last move but I felt fine to this time. So maybe you aren’t ready to throw away your mum’s diaries now but one day you will be. I think if you’re still wondering then you’re not ready. When you are ready, you’ll know.

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    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      I’m okay with it but it still stings if that makes sense…I think your last bit is good advice to add to the list. Thanks Nara…

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      • Nara

        September 13, 2016 at 5:59 pm

        Of course it stings. I think it is really tough for kids to feel they aren’t loved as much as other kids. It is unfair! I’m sorry you had that. It’s why I’m only ever going to have one kid!

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        • TAO

          September 13, 2016 at 6:07 pm

          It’s funny that I was thinking about the benefits of being an only when writing this. I wouldn’t say I wasn’t loved as much per se – more of a I wasn’t at all similar to her (big surprise when you adopt?) and the others had personalities more like mom so they were more special – I was definitely more dad’s personality. It does get complicated in adoption sometimes – would not have wanted bio siblings like you had, no, just no. Argh…are you doing well?

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  4. Deb

    September 13, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Try to look at her words with empathy instead reading them with the fear that you’re being judged. I have experienced a lot of emotional pain in my life, but realizing that we are all doing the best we can, and knowing that often people treat us the way they do because of issues inherent to them (not us), has helped me tremendously.

    When people are unkind to me now, I have a brief moment of frustration, but then I remind myself that I don’t know what struggles that person is dealing with. I don’t know their story. I don’t know their sadness and fears. And I don’t know how they have been treated in their lifespan. Empathy is key no matter how bad a person’s behavior is.

    Now because I don’t know who might read this, I will throw in there that if someone is treating you badly, it does not mean you should have empathy and endure the bad treatment. It means you can understand from a distance, and not hold anger or a grudge towards that person. You can understand that they may be doing the best that they can, but their best may not be healthy or safe for you.

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    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      Thanks Deb

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  5. Tara-Anita

    September 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Suck it up, Because 1) you can help your family members 2) if you destroy them you would always wonder what was in there. 3) You would get to know your mother better know how she thought, what she did why she did; and 4) know that ultimately in the end you were the one (not the other siblings) she knew that she could depend on and trust.

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    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks Tara-Anita that’s an amazing answer. Thank you so much…

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      • Tara-Anita

        September 13, 2016 at 6:47 pm

        yw 🙂

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  6. Heather

    September 13, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    I would get rid of them and not feel guilty about it. It’s your choice but not your obligation if you want to be the keeper of that responsibility for extended family members.

    I can’t unknow stuff once I’ve read it and I’m very sensitive. While curious, I would be deeply hurt reading anything my mother wrote. She doesn’t like me and reminds me of that fact quite often in case I’ve forgotten.

    At 44 years old I’m still tentatively learning that I can live my life for myself and not how others expect me to. You only have now. It’s alright to move on and while the past is interesting it no longer exists.

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    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks Heather

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  7. cb

    September 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    I agree with Tara Anita – I would “suck it up” and read them. Btw perhaps you might be surprised, she might be rather more positive about you than you think 🙂 It sounds like you were always the most capable one and she may have felt the others needed her more and thus may have appeared to have *loved* them more. However, it is quite possible she may well touch on your good points in the diary – you might even go away realising how much she did love you.**

    Also, think about it this way, perhaps you might not have been her favourite child but on the flip side she wasn’t your favourite parent either – that’s life. As you say though, you did love each other and that’s what matters (and again I suspect the diary will reflect that).

    Btw I know I wasn’t my amum’s favourite child growing up either – a lot of that has to do with me being a difficult preteen. Also we were just really different. However, as an adult, I probably get along with her best, I think I’m the only one who talks to her like a human. I wouldn’t say that I was the one she relied on the most – my sister is the one who deals with financial things with her (she lives close as well). My mum isn’t the diary-keeping type but even if she was, I know that I can now handle anything that she might have said in any diary because I was a horrendous preteen – anything negative would have been true and I acknowledge that.

    **I would pace myself though and if you do come across something difficult to hear, put the diary aside and allow yourself to process it.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks CB – all good points and you know me so well.

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  8. Paige Adams Strickland

    September 13, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Good question! Never, ever destroy them. I would read them no matter what probably since I have the power to do so. What Tara-Anita said.

    P.

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    • TAO

      September 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      I’m loving all the advice I’m getting. Why does life have to be so confusing at times. Thanks Paige…

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  9. Von

    September 13, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    You and only you were the one trusted to look after the diaries. You say you were not the ‘favourite’ – do your sibs complain that they were not the trusted one? Suck it up, big girl panties and keep them, read them if you can and want, to but don’t feel you must.

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    • TAO

      September 14, 2016 at 2:38 am

      Thanks Von, you’re right. I do want to weave a personal story in the family tree that people generations later can know them as people…things done, celebrated, stuff you can’t get from records.

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  10. maryleesdream

    September 14, 2016 at 2:35 am

    I was the kid who looked in everyone’s medicine cabinets. I searched for , and found my adoption papers when I was 12. I am nosy and would not be able to help myself.
    I would read them, process what was inside and go on.

    I’ve gotten horrible, hurtful letters from my mother, half brother and Aunt. Bad, painful stuff, but it honestly doesn’t affect my day to day life very much. Maybe my personality was forged in childhood, and the rejection that I felt back then made me somewhat immune to emotional pain.

    I hope this hasn’t happened to you. Maybe if you had a good childhood it’s different, but i don’t know.

    I want to know everything, the bad and the good. It’s all the same to me.

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    • TAO

      September 14, 2016 at 2:40 am

      Thanks for commenting – I’m truly sorry you received hurtful letters – not right.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  11. My Perfect Breakdown

    September 14, 2016 at 3:09 am

    I’d keep them and who knows maybe one day you’ll be ready to read them. And if not, then you can just keep keeping them.
    I throw out everything (and when i say everything, I mean everything) and there are a few things of my mom’s and sisters I really wish I still had (including my sisters diary I threw out after she died), so I think my perspective might be skewed because of that.
    I just hope whatever you do its right for you.

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  12. Raven

    September 14, 2016 at 6:23 am

    TAO, if I were in your shoes, I would tuck them away in a safe place and forget about them for now. When the time is right for you to read them in detail, you’ll know. I am so very sorry to hear about the relationship with your mom. I should have somehow figured this out years ago because the one you’ve talked about so often with me over the years is your father.

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    • TAO

      September 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Raven – our relationship wasn’t bad at all, we were just very different personalities. Putting them off and what to do with them for a while is good advice. Thank you.

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  13. yan

    September 14, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I don’t know what I would do in your position — my a-mom has never been a diarist or intentional keeper of records. That’s my thing (professional historian, even). The historian in me cringes at the idea of burning any historical record BUT the person in me agrees with Heather — you can choose to be family historian, but you are NOT OBLIGATED to keep these diaries because other people might want to know more. You are not obligated to look up family history for them.

    So I don’t know what you should do for now. But I do know what we should consider doing for the future — be specific as to what you want done with your personal writings. I know my journaling is done mainly in times of anger or grief, and I would hate for anyone I’ve written about while upset to read the vitriol I spew on to pages to get it out of my head. I want it all burned. You don’t know what your a-mom wanted, so now it’s up to you. Whatever you do, be kind to yourself and know that she trusted you to make this decision.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      September 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Me too Yan – I just couldn’t casually toss them aside – they go back so many decades detailing the events that happened to so many people.

      If I don’t answer queries it will be information lost to generations to come. Mom knew she had 2 years or less and she did nothing with them which leaves me to believe she didn’t want to destroy them. I do find it deeply ironic that it’s the one adopted doing it…

      We all need to detail what needs to be done – I have started organizing that part.

      Still trying to decide what to do – I’m glad I got up the guts to post about it – it helps more than most realize.

      Thanks yan.

      I didn’t know you were a historian, or I forgot. That’s wonderful and would be fascinating, at least to me.

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  14. beth62

    September 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    You must know I’d suggest the suck it up route and read a bit whenever you feel like it. It sounds like a treasure to me. And how could THE family history keeper actually throw that info out? I don’t think I could… but if I couldn’t manage to read it, I think I’d probably pay someone to scan it all and add it to my online records for any family members to explore as they wish on their own.

    Had to say this…. all of my grown kids have told me they think they are not my favorite. :). I tell each of them they are my favorite, and ask them not to tell the others, because even if the others aren’t my favorite – they are my world. I love them so much and want nothing but good for them. I’d sacrifice anything and everything to make sure that happens. Everyone is different, each of my kids has things I love and abhor about them. Some are more like me than another, some are easy for me to blend with, some much more difficult. Some get more attention than the others, some are always considered at decisions because they have more difficult things to consider. The ones that didn’t need so much considering, the ones who were more independent, strong… or quiet – seem to feel less than the favorite as the others. They are all my favorite for one reason or another. I think I will go spoil my favorite silent wild son of steel today :). He deserves every bit of it. What a truly giant joy he is to me, my heart aches daily with the love I have for him, I’m so proud of him I could pop. We clash somehow every single day, drive each other bonkers, and we both keep coming back everyday for more :). Life is crazy good like that sometimes 🙂

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    • TAO

      September 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you, I never thought about it that way, a different way. Thank you Beth.

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  15. Tiffany

    September 14, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    That is a very hard decision, TAO. I hope you find peace with whatever path you choose to take… I’m quite certain there isn’t a wrong one, and you just need to take the time to think about what is the right choice for you.

    As a mom, it breaks my heart to think either of my daughters would ever feel that I loved one more than the other or had a favorite. I was listening to an adoptee podcast a few weeks ago, and the guest speaker (an adoptee) very matter of factly stated that she knew her adoptive mother didn’t love her as much as she did her sibling, who was the adoptive mother’s bio child, born after the adoption. The adoptee is a mother, and she said that after having her own kids, she knows for certain her mother couldn’t have possibly loved her the same or as much. It just broke me to think of my daughter thinking that- I cried right then and there, in the car on the way into work. My love for BOTH of my daughters just consumes my heart. I truly can say, unequivocally, that I love them both with equal fervor and depth. Neither is even remotely a favorite.

    One is the daughter of my body, and one is the daughter who came into my arms from another mother. I love them differently because they NEED me to love them in the unique ways that their different persons require, but that doesn’t mean I love one less. One daughter requires lots of touching to feel loved and connected- hugs, snuggles, kisses, hand holding… she still needs me to fall asleep at night, comes into our bed almost every night when she wakes in the dark, and runs to me for hugs the minute I walk in the door. My other daughter prefers my love expressed to her in listening to her talk and share her thoughts, giving her space and independence and showing her that I trust her and support her in her desire to have a little less physical connection but still share time together where she is able to verbally connect with me. She asked me to stop cuddling her to sleep at the age of three with a “you’re smothering me, mama.” lol 🙂

    You know your mother, and I get that- I didn’t know her. So I can’t know for sure. I know some parents do indeed have favorites. Maybe she did. But maybe she also was trying to love you in the way that she felt you needed because you and your siblings were inevitably different people. Adoption must cause an extra layer of feeling this way, I’m sure- there is already this feeling of being different from any biological children of the adoptive parent. I hope you don’t see this as me dismissing your feelings, because they are valid, but offering that maybe your mother didn’t feel the way you are thinking she did.

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    • TAO

      September 14, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      Tiffany – you’ve never dismissed any adoptees feelings. I’m feeling much better about it – now that I’ve gotten so much well-thought out advice. I think Beth and you may be right – different children, different needs. May just turn out to be the best choice mom ever made, leaving her diaries for me.

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  16. licensedtoparent

    September 14, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Holy crap, what do you do in this situation?? I’m nosey, I’d probably read them. But, if you do, are you prepared for the feelings? Maybe you’ll find insight on why things were how they were. Idk. I hope you post about what you choose to do!

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    • TAO

      September 14, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Licensed – I know mom wouldn’t deliberately state something mean spirited about me in it – that’s not her and I don’t think she felt that way. I think I’m just more ultra-sensitive about it and may not be more than a couple of ouches. But, Beth, as usual is a font of wisdom and my perception because I was the ‘normal one’ could have been seen as less needy to be molly-coddled (to use a very old term ). I’m kind of sort of leaning to putting it aside for a month or so and then reading and documenting in the trees the stories that make it easier for future generations to make a connect to those already gone. Long run on sentence because I just woke up from my nap…stay tuned.

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      • licensedtoparent

        September 14, 2016 at 9:41 pm

        I also am the “not needy” one in a family with 4 kids. It can be hard. I feel MY kids suffer too, as more effort is put into relationships with my needier siblings and as a result, their kids vs me and mine. Smh. Relationships are complicated and suck sometimes. Good luck with this.

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  17. Heather

    September 15, 2016 at 3:17 am

    I love reading all the different comments and different view points. I’ve learned so much just from this post.

    Thank you for posting and sharing with us TAO. This is a wonderful community you’ve built.

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    • TAO

      September 15, 2016 at 3:45 am

      What a lovely message when I just came to turn off the computer. Thanks Heather.

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  18. K.

    September 15, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Because I’m a person who journals, I would never throw away someone’s diaries. They are a historical record, even if the personal aspect might be difficult to process. That being said, I also agree with others who have stated that it’s not your obligation to take on the role of family historian if that’s not a responsibility you want. I think about this often in regards to photos of my afamily that I know will become mine once my amom passes on. I have already decided that I will keep a few that are meaningful to me and gift the rest to cousins who I know will treasure them more than I or my children would. Regarding the decision of whether or not to read your mother’s diaries, I think if you decide to keep them then you should commit to reading them through at least once. If they were to sit in a box never to be read, what would be the point really of even keeping them? Better then to pass them on to someone who would read them, I think. You certainly may encounter information about your mother’s thoughts and feelings that will cause you distress, and you must take care to prepare yourself for this and to give yourself time afterward to process, but if you don’t read them, you will also be in distress wondering about what is in them and making assumptions that may or may not be true. Take this advice with a grain of salt though, because I am a person who believes knowing is always better in the long run than not knowing, and you may disagree, which of course is absolutely fine. This is a heavy dilemma and I don’t envy you. I do support you in whatever choice you make.

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    • TAO

      September 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks K. Photo’s – boxes of them, carrousels of slides – you name it, I have it. I’m slowly scanning them in and putting them on FB so at least one arm of the family can save them. I’m also putting them into the tree(s). I am the only one interested in holding them, others are liking getting selections from them….argh…

      I’m very much knowing all rather than nothing type person too.

      Thanks for weighing in on my dilemma.

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  19. Kaisa

    September 16, 2016 at 5:25 am

    keep them and pass them on to the next generation. don’t worry about answering everyone’s questions as they come up, they can discover answers later or not at all. if you feel comfortable letting them look through everything on their own then maybe allow that, if they have a question. sometimes answers to questions can cause their own problems, and you might be caught in the middle of something by that, too. sometimes the perception of what happened is more important than what really happened, what date something happened, etc., especially to those who have memories of the times that might conflict with the actual facts. leave everything to the next generation to solve if they are interested.

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    • TAO

      September 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you Kaisa for another perspective to consider.

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  20. L4R

    September 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I’d keep them…. Whether or not you choose to read them in full should be a decision that you make in time.

    I definitely wouldn’t make this pledge: “swear to never read them in depth.” We are all on a journey. What you want now may not be what you want in the future. Don’t make pacts with yourself that your future self may regret.

    Give yourself some time, some breathing room before you decide.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      September 17, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Thank L4R – I think I’m still in the mode of having to make all the decisions on what to do with what of mom’s. Good advice.

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  21. Tia

    September 17, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    My relationship with my mom, who is in her 80’s now, is very similar in some ways to what you describe and different in others, so grain of salt and all that. She had two bio sons that are my older half brothers, adopted me, and adopted my younger brother, who continues to have some pretty substantial substance abuse and other issues.

    I was her least favorite in ways that were so clear. The love she offered felt dutiful and at times even a Catholic atonement for failure to be the mom she wanted to be. This is not just projection. This is something i have known and which we have talked about some as adults.

    My mom has loved me the very best that she could and I have made peace with that. I have made peace with the fact that her love was, while genuine, also it was labor that did not come naturally.

    My mom and I are now deep and genuine friends. We have both done a lot of work to create a loving relationship between two adults.

    If I had records like this after she dies, I would not read them for quite some time but I would also keep them. If I was grieving her loss, my desire to avoid reading would come more from not wanting to see the easy flow of love she had for my brothers rather than seeing her write the struggle about me. I would not want to see laid out in journals the subtle ghosting I felt in my family growing up. I would, quite simply and perhaps selfishly, not want to see how she felt about my brothers in writing at that time in my life.

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    • TAO

      September 17, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      Thank you for this Tia…

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  22. Gregory Luce

    September 18, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    It’s such a fascinating and loaded issue. Why not take it in pieces, whenever you feel like you want to read them or know more—or not. Just put them aside if it’s too difficult and maybe put them aside for a long time if it just gets too hard to go back to them after not seeing yourself accurately portrayed in your mother’s thoughts and writing. I would never destroy them, unless that was something your mother specifically asked you to do.

    I inherited my birth mother’s records and documents and photos and all sorts of odds and ends, including years of her diaries and journals as well several photo albums full of hats. I wanted badly to be part of what she wrote and what I saw in them but, in the end, it was about her life and what she saw and experienced. I was mentioned a few times, but more as a list of things that she regretted in life and struggled with as painful and difficult. But she led her life, as I did mine. It was a melancholy reminder to me how independently we moved through the world despite our deep connection.

    Looking from your situation from far outside of it, I consider you lucky to have your mom’s journals and other mementos. I consider it even lucky that you have the choice to make something of them, or not do anything with them at all. Best with what you choose!

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    • TAO

      September 18, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Ah Thank you Gregory – bits and pieces is very good advice, very good. Just thank you…

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  23. beth62

    September 20, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I agree, bits and pieces is very good advice. there are a few people that I cannot manage to update their memorial pages or ancestry, yet. My sweet little grandma is at the top of that list. I see her cute face in the picture, and that is all I can do. I want to add more info, but it puts me in the mud a little if I stay there long. I keep thinking that time thing will dull the blade… it’s been over 10 years. It’s not as sharp as it was, but still plenty sharp.
    Bits and pieces, I hope you can find your boots and avoid the mud my friend!

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  24. Laura

    September 23, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Definitely don’t destroy them. If they become too painful to have around then it would be better to pass them on to someone else. Otherwise, let it be. You’ll know if the time is right to read them. If you have all these back and forth feelings about it then you’re not ready, and that’s okay. Maybe you’re meant to be the safe keeper of these for the next generation…
    Blessings.

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    • TAO

      September 23, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Thanks Laura…

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  25. Jamelle Whitmore

    September 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I’m with Laura. A journal is so extremely personal. It’s a unique opportunity to hear your mother’s words as an individual rather than an extension of yourself. You’re not obligated to do ANYTHING; Mom left you in charge because she trusted your judgement and she didn’t destroy them herself. (Trust me, I’ve burned some bad feelings I put down for that reason…didn’t want my girls taking to heart something I was feeling at the moment) Think carefully before giving them away, another may not be as conscientious as you and use her thoughts and feelings against other family members. Unjust and unfair, however, we all know how family rolls. Good Luck with this honor your mother in the way you see fit.

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    • TAO

      September 26, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you Jamelle for providing more thoughts and noting mom trusted my judgement. 🙂

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  26. Dannie

    October 13, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    It has been a month since you wrote this but hopefully you can still think on what I’m about to say in the comments…..in your family what would favoritism or ‘least favorite’ look like? Was it time spent? deferring to another parent because a child obviously wanted ‘daddy’ most of the time? The way they hugged, looked at you? The way they needed to remind or work homework with/lack thereof?

    Or was the way mom spent and acted in accordance to each child’s personality, needs, strengths vs weaknesses? And having a couple kids I can see how my parenting is sometimes different based on the needs and personality of the particular kids are.

    As a parent of two kids who are both similar in some ways and different in other ways I can tell you I love many things about each and am flustered by some things. I feel pride and joy and angst……my daughter has abilities and likes that I’ve never been good at or really struggled with…..I’m so amazed by her and know she will be an amazing overall person. My son is amazing in gross motor abilities and eye hand coordination like me (and unlike my daughter) and I’m amazed and salivate about future sporting events. Yet I can tell he’s already a hot mess like me……my daughter meticulously tells me what outfits I need to wear for work and what makeup to use and what heels to wear so I look pretty at work, my son sees me in my robe in the morning and fawns and says I’m so pretty…(I guess he likes the hot mess????? Lol)

    My heart is full and I know they probably see different sides and perspectives of me. I hope they know that I love them both.

    I would say given your synopsis of your folks and their lives and living with integrity, that your mom entrusted you with her prized thoughts and note taking and date keeping. Maybe she struggled or was in quiet awe of your personality because it was everything she knew she would never be but admired. After all, if you were similar to dad and she married and adored him, that’s saying something. :).

    Moms and dads aren’t superheroes. They are human and have feelings and weaknesses too. I believe when we step outside of that mom daughter role and study a life from a purely human point of view it really gives us an appreciation of people, especially parents.

    Ok sorry for the rambling. My very long winded 2 cents

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