Losing Jonathan
Onions, Onions, Why Do We Have So Many Onions?

To Save or Not To Save

From time to time I go through file drawers looking for things to get rid of. My goal is to have less stuff for our kids to deal with some day.

Yesterday, I came across a bunch of journals, some written during various traumatic times. Reading them again for the first time in years, those times seemed much less traumatic.

For example, when our son Jeremy was denied early admission to his first- choice college, he was devastated. Nothing could persuade him that he was still the same talented, smart person he was before that letter came. It was a very bad week and my journal reflected my concern for him. (By the way, he was accepted at every other school he applied to and loved the one he went to.)

Then there was my celiac disease diagnosis seventeen years ago. It meant that I could no longer eat bread or anything with gluten. I was miserable. To me, there was nothing worth eating if you can’t eat gluten. I remember taking a jar of peanut butter and some rice crackers on our vacation to Africa that summer and that was about all I could eat. (By the way, there are a lot of great gluten-free foods now, and I had forgotten how miserable I had been then.)

I did write about happy times too, but misery made me more prolific. So here’s my dilemma. Do I throw those journals away so that the children don’t see me at my worst? Would they even bother to read them? How about if I keep them just a little longer to remind me that bad things get better?


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I would definitely keep them. I'd dearly love it if my dad had left behind some diaries I could read ...

And look at it this way: Your son might face another crisis somewhere down the road and it will help him to remember how devastated he was at one time and how everything worked out just fine despite of it. Come to think of it, this might even something that could help his own children somewhere along the way.


I would definitely keep them. They will be priceless memories of the very real person who was their mother.

Anne Brew

Sorry but I would definitely throw them out. In her book "Banish Clutter Forever" Sheila Chandra talks about sad memories being a drain on our diminishing resources. You've found the journals and remembered the stressful times. You don't need physical evidence of those memories - the lesson you obviously learnt from re reading them will stay as long as you want it to. xxx

Gail Lamotte

Why don't you ask Jeremy & Seth? Or put them in a box, label them and then let them decide when appropriate.

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