One of my first memories from when I was a child was watching my mother write in a little notebook. She would constantly scribble away at the pages with her fountain pen, looking up once in a while to make sure I wasn’t getting into trouble. When I gained a few years she used to let me draw in her notebooks. They weren’t even legible, but she would always leave those pages untouched with her words, like some sort of shrine to my three year old self. Sometimes she would read to me from those notebooks, poems and little stories that she had jotted down from magazines and newspapers. I never looked at her notebooks without her knowledge, but I was always enthralled by them, always curious to see what lay on the pages she didn’t show me.
My mother is an incredible woman, an eccentric type, just like me. Her collections involve figurines of ducks, toy lambs, dishes, vintage tea pots, candles, the list goes on. But what she loves to collecting more than anything else are flowers. I don’t think you can really collect flowers, but if you can, then the amount of orchids perched on windowsills in my house is undeniably an impressive collection. Naturally, we also have a lot of flower pots, but my mother fills these with an impressive amount of different items. The other day I happened to discover a flower pot containing many of my mother’s old journals and I couldn’t help ruffling through some pages.
It felt wrong to look through my mother’s journals without her permission, but curiosity definitely got the better of me. The first and oldest journal was marked with 1984, so my mother was only three years younger than I am when she began to record her life on those pages. I don’t know how long it took her to fill the notebook, but it was incredible to flip through the little book inspecting the inked words. There were poems about love, mothers and fathers, flowers, and life. There were short stories, quizzes, horoscopes, and recipes. Scattered throughout the book were pressed leaves, photos, magazine clippings of cute boys, clothes and flowers. And jotted down in random corners or spanning many pages there were lists of hopes and dreams.
As I flipped through the journals I felt as though I was prying into her life, but at the same time I couldn’t stop. With every word I read I saw myself in the pages. As much as I love my mother and as well as I get along with her, I never realized that we were so similar. From these ink blotted pages jumped a beautiful young woman who lived in the clouds, and over 20 years later, here I sit, a replica of her.
Like all replica’s I’m not a perfect representation of her, but it still fascinates me that we are so extraordinarily similar. Although I share my differences with her, we are more alike than I ever thought we could be, and even if I cannot reveal to her that I sat there sifting through her journals, I hope I can find a way to make her realize I appreciate her more than she thinks I do.
My next steps will be to copy down some of her poetry and stories into my own journal so that I can always have a reminder of that silly little quote “like mother, like daughter”. But it’s not that silly, is it?
- eccentricgrandmother posted this