It is hard to really know what to make of the story of the empty journals without knowing more about Terry's relationship with her mother and more about Terry's mother herself. Terry described her mother as very "private". From listening to Terry's "voice" during this program, she seems to be a very insightful and observant person. It appears that she has spent a lot of time considering her closest relationships and their dynamics. She would know more about her relationship with her mother than anyone else, (I guess that seems obvious!), so, if she feels confounded and hurt by the fact of the empty journals, she may well have reason.
So, I would like to carefully offer my impression, with all respect to Terry and her incerdible openness in sharing this very personal story with us.
It wasn't clear in the telling of the story if the journals were hand made or purchased, or some combination, (ie. she bought journals which she then personalized). I am not sure if this makes any difference, but it seems to me that such a large collection of journals indicates a great affinity for journals or the making of journals. If she bought/made a journal with the intention of writing, it is hard to believe that they would all be completely empty. It makes sense to me that she would have at least attempted an entry at some point. And, if one empty page seems intimidating, how much more intimidating would be hundreds of blank pages? It just makes sense in my mind, that the intention here probably never involved actually writing in them.
I admit it is confusing that she directly instructed Terry not to look inside them until after her death. I didn't get the impression from Terry's conversation that, as has been suggested here, that her mother was a jokester, but perhaps she was. I am thinking that perhaps she was generally a very practical person and felt inside herself, that it was frivolous to have a collection of anything, much less a collection of journals, never intended to be written in. I get this idea from the fact that Terry had no knowledge of this collection and that she kept it hidden in her closet. But it seemed close to her heart, because she kept it protected. And in passing this to her daughter, she was bestowing her very private and treasured secret. So, maybe that is why she didn't want Terry to know, because it made her feel frivolous and this embarrassed her.
But additionally, knowing how Terry loves to write, maybe it made her mother feel connected to Terry, to provide a blank template for Terry to feel her mother's presence for years to come, while engaging in an activity that is so close to Terry's heart; to think of Terry writing in her treasured items long into the future. And how perfect a complementary activity it was, to enjoy collecting/making empty journals, and to have a daughter that loves to write?
I have learned so much from listening to Terry this week, (and Krista every week!). Thank you both for sharing, and I wish you peace.
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