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Add my vote to those suggesting invisible ink as used by a very private person whose clever padlock is opened only with a certain wavelength light or some wet solution. Alternatively, as Katy asks @ 5:31 PM, what are Terry's mother's personality traits? Truly empty pages (no ink of any kind) could be the equivalent of creating (or collecting) the containers with intent to fill, similar to a behavior hallmark of disorders like obsessive compulsive personality (DSM-IV 301.4) with various degrees of hoarding. Some parallels here with Brook Downs's admission @ 4:27 AM about "intent to write". If Terry's mother was a perfectionist then, as Emenbensma says in reply to Brook, would not express herself for fear of her writing being "judged inadequate". Or this, some words unspoken, mother to Terry: "My journals you will find empty. I am such a private person, I would be too embarrassed to have to tell you in person why I did not write in them. Please, spare me the embarrassment, promise to look at them only after I am gone and discover for yourself they are empty."