As a writer and historian, I am a prolific note taker and a meticulous record keeper. I am never without a pen, and I carry little notebooks with me wherever I go. Over the last few decades, I must have accumulated hundreds of little notebooks filled with everything from random thoughts, stories, poems and ideas to business notes, to-do lists and reminders.
During a recent move, I debated whether or not to toss many of these old notebooks in the trash. But, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Reading excerpts from some of the old notebooks brought a smile to my face as I recaptured the dreams of my younger self.
However, there is one notebook that I’ll never have the chance to re-read because it was stolen from me.
It was a notebook that I had with me on a business trip to Florida in 2009. During that trip, I went to visit my Grandma Annie who was 92 years old at the time.
We sat in her living room and we talked for hours. My Grandmother shared with me her life story. We discussed the world today and all of the technological advancements she saw throughout her lifetime. As she spoke, I took copious notes in a little green notebook. I was eager to one day share this little notebook of my Grandmother’s memories with my children.
But that day will never come.
Shortly after returning home from Florida, with the notebook still in my bag, a low life thief decided to steal MY bag, from MY car, that was parked in MY garage on MY property. Although my wallet, my driver’s licence, my credit cards, my money, a brand new lipstick and likely a pack of honey-herb Ricola were also pilfered, I would never get over losing that little green notebook.
And sadly, this would not be last time I would be robbed.
As anyone who has ever been cheated or has had their property stolen can attest, there is a lingering torment that never fully goes away.
But sometimes, as I struggle to come to terms with what I had lost, I take solace in all that I had kept – 42 years of loving memories with my grandmother. Those are moments that live in my heart – not on some piece of paper.
While criminals may get away with stealing the tangible items, there are some things that they will never be able to pilfer such as memories, wisdom and emotions. And in the end, aren’t those the items of most value anyway?
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