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My journalsPosted Thursday, February 14, 2013, at 9:32 AM
Ellie Butterfield and her grandson, Brett, when he was a youngster. (Contributed photo)
One day I found journals my grandma wrote in. It brought back so many happy memories just seeing her handwriting. She wrote about every day things..."It snowed today, we had fried chicken."
So, I decided to start writing my journal. I started in 1988, long before we had ouf grandsons, Brett and Evan.
My Dear Someday Child,
Then I wrote all the family history as I have been told from my Grandpa's pa, who served in the Civil War and as far back as I could go. The stories Grandpa told me about coming to Missouri in a covered wagon.
About once a week I wrote. Now, as I read them, they are full of history. JFK's assination, Nixon's impeachment, a man on the moon -- history beyond our wildest dreams.
When we found out we were expecting our first grandchild, I recorded everything. From that day until the day he was born Feb. 14 (our Valentine Sweetheart).
When our son, Rick, called, so excited, he hollered, '"It's a boy! He's beautiful!"
From then on, every time we were together I wrote about our adventures.
Brett loved visiting us in our homeplace, going uptown to the "historical Courthouse," riding in the wagon around the square with Santa at Christmas, going to Indian Foothills Park and learning to swim in our little back yard pool.
I drew his baby hand and foot prints in my journal and added a lock of his golden curls. You can imagine the fun things I could write about when he started talking or got his first joke and bent over in laughter.
When Brett learned to write, I asked him to write in my journal. He wrote, "My Mimi made me write in her journal she said one day I'd be glad I did."
Brett is now 22 years old and has graduated from KU. His brother, Evan, is 19 and is a freshman at KU.
Where did those precious years go? And, so fast. But now I can read my journal and recall those happy days of yesterday and the fun and love we shared.
I want to encourage you to start your journal. As a new mother, how I wish I had done that when my sons, Steve and Rick, were kids.
Even if you write once a week, or once a month, write! And write in long hand, not on the computer. It's so personal.
Hopefully, one day in the distant future my great-great grandchildren will read my journal and even though I will be long gone, they will get to know their grandmother, Ellie, and the history of their family.
P.S. Here is my suggestion to you. Next time you are invited to a bridal or baby shower, give a gift of a journal and a pen. Ask all the guests to write a note. You are giving a gift of a lifetime.
P.P.S. Happy birthday, Brett!
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Various members of the community, current or past residents, occasionally submit essays recalling the people, places and events of the past. We'll post them here. Also, reminisces sometimes emerge in other web forums. This will be a place those conversations can continue.