Late last evening, feeling angst and sporting a headache that throbbed against my skull, I took a walk in the dark. My only companion, the moon. With his hair over one eye, he watched over me—saved me from the dark shadows. I gazed up into his face and wondered about the billions of people who’ve gone on to the next world before me, the ones who had dumped their troubles on him. The ones who had shared with him their dreams. The ones who had laughed and loved under his twilight.

I wondered about their stories. Some are known by all of us. Some by a few.
As I walked, I gaze over the valley that was my great grandparent’s farm, now divided among their children’s children. I know my great grandparent’s names. I can tell you they lay in the cemetery on the rise to the east. I can tell you their birth and death dates. However, I don’t know what they were like as people. Did they enjoy music or reading? Were reserve or outgoing? What was their favorite time of the year? Or their favorite foods? Did they believe and trust in the Almighty? What were their dreams?

We have pictures of course with names scribbled on the back, but by who? We have ledgers and invoices of transactions stored in the old farm house attic, but no personal memoirs. Knowing this, sadness crept in my heart as I crossed an open field. I wished someone had left behind their words for me. Told me who they were. Left a clue as to who I called my pass.

At that moment, the moon winked at me and from within I heard, “You were given the gift of the written word. Why haven’t you left behind words for your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren? Not all will seek them, but there will be one who will. Like you, they will cherish the memories you share and pass them on to another who well cherish their heritage. And so on.”

Stunned, I gaped into his one eye. The ancient man was right. He winked again and turned into a cloud, probably to advise someone else. I finished one swallow of crisp night and with a light step headed for home. I pulled from a drawer a diary given to me one Christmas years ago and wrote; September 9th, 2009. Within these pages you will come to know who I was, what I felt passionate about, and what were my dreams. My hope is I will teach something of the pass, something that will make you a stronger person and that I’ll touch you in some way. With love, your heritage.

27 comments

  1. Judy // September 10, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

    What a beautiful post, AJ, and a lovely thought. I, too, am fascinated by people-all people- but am especially curious about my relatives, those who came before me. My mother wrote a family history of sorts..Not always factual--apparently bad things didn't occur in our family LOL ...but still, my siblings and I are grateful for names and places and tidbits of information about the people from our past.Thanks for posting this!

  2. Autumn Jordon // September 10, 2009 at 9:51 AM  

    I envy you, Judy. To have those thoughts on page, to touch the scroll written by a relative a hundred or more years ago. Awesome!

    I'm glad you liked the post.

    AJ
    www.autumnjordon.com

  3. J Hali // September 10, 2009 at 10:14 AM  

    Autumn, this post touched me! My 3 sisters and I often sit and talk about our grandparents and why we never knew our great grands. It would have been wonderful to know something about them. The grands are gone, my mom is gone - WOW!

    I guess there's no excuse, considering today's technology - my only child should have a story from me.

    Loved this post.

  4. Mary Ellen Carmody // September 10, 2009 at 10:23 AM  

    Autumn - a wonderful post. It stirred my soul. I am going home from work and starting a heritage book for posterity.

    Thanks for a wonderful read.

    Mary Ellen

  5. Kathy Fawcett // September 10, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

    Your post touched me. I haven't written in a journal since college. Just last week I pulled my 1st diary from my hope chest and began reading about my 12 year old self.

    I was reminded that what a 12 year old finds important is real to that kid no matter how silly it may seem to an adult (even if the adult is the kid all grown up).

    Wow. So my 11 year old's thoughts, fears and dreams are real to him. Have I been understanding? Empathetic? Encouraging? It gave me something to think about.

    After reading my diary, I bought a new journal and will start filling it today. Not so much for future generations to read (though that would be nice if they did) but for my future self to read. I'm sure what I find important now will be different in another 24 years.

  6. Autumn Jordon // September 10, 2009 at 1:01 PM  

    J Hali, Thank you. I know. I was going to add things I remember about my grandparents to the post. Going to autions with my grandfather is a special memory. He loved the call of the auctioneer. I do too.

    I always wondered if there was an author in my family.

    Thanks for following me here to the PFS. (((HUS)) AJ

  7. Autumn Jordon // September 10, 2009 at 1:04 PM  

    Mary Ellen, You've made my day! As a writer reaching someone's soul was my goal. When an author writes from the heart, I guess they do.

    Thank you for telling me. (((HUGS))) AJ

  8. Autumn Jordon // September 10, 2009 at 1:07 PM  

    Kathy, Wonderful! I plan to write in mine at the very least twice a week. One memory from the past, concerning relatives gone and the other my life now and dreams. I guess I should pick up another book or two.

    Thanks for stopping by.
    AJ

  9. Mary Ricksen // September 10, 2009 at 1:55 PM  

    And that's exactly why I write.

  10. Gwynlyn MacKenzie // September 10, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

    Nice post, Autumn. Thought provoking.

    I burned my journals years ago and haven't started a new one. They were my dumping ground, my prayers, when life overwhelmed me. Who wants to read that? But putting my thoughts on paper often helped bring order to chaos.

    Time to rethink journaling....

    {{{Hugs}}}
    Gwyn

  11. Autumn Jordon // September 10, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

    You'll be well rememebered, Mary. Wink

    AJ

  12. Autumn Jordon // September 10, 2009 at 5:43 PM  

    Gwen, I did the same thing. I wrote some really dark stuff while going a nasty divorce. Writing it down helped me vent in a good way. Later reading it, I thought no way did I want my kids finding the book, if something happened to me. So I got a match and poof. Lost history.

    But there are things we can leave behind which well help others-perphaps to understand themselves a little better or encourage them or just to let them know in everyone's life there are always mountains to climb, but it can be done.

    So get that journal out and start scribbling.

    (((HUGS))) AJ

  13. Mary Marvella // September 10, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

    What a lovely piece, Autumn. I wrote stories Mama and Grandmama told us when i was growing up. I guess I'd better write my own for my daughter.

  14. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 10, 2009 at 8:07 PM  

    Thank you for sharing your walk in the moonlight. My grandmother kept a diary, we found it after she passed away. There was much in it, things like it rained again today and I'm so lonely. It broke my heart to think of her writing those words. Why is it when we are young, we never stop long enough to ask our elders all the questions we should? I am now the oldest female in my line. Probably should start writing down my memories. My mother's family was very secretive about it history. When we research and followed the trail from Georgia back to South Carolina, we found they had been loyalist during the revolution! When they relocated to Georgia, they hid that information! I love digging into my family's history.

  15. Autumn Jordon // September 10, 2009 at 8:16 PM  

    Mary and Scarlett, Thank you. I'm glad your enjoyed.

  16. Mona Risk // September 11, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

    What a beautiful post Autumn. It shows your faith and encourages us to have faith. I have faithfully written my diary since I got married and have three huge boxes in storage with the many stories of my children's antics, my joys and sorrows. Will any one ever read them? Who knows? I often thought of destroying them. I burned all my diaries and love letters from before my mariage. Too bad I could have found some inspiration there.

  17. ARCyndi/Dr. Cynthia Morgan // September 11, 2009 at 12:32 PM  

    LATE reading this but a wonderful and inspiring post. I haven't kept a diary since 5th grade but I love reading my thoughts back then (it was all boys boys boys! LOL No surprise to anyone who knows me)

    My other comment...What a wonderful title...Advice from the Bartender in the Sky. Would make a WONDERFUL book title, wouldn't it?

  18. Autumn Jordon // September 11, 2009 at 5:03 PM  

    Thank you, Mona. Good for you. I'm sure one of your relatives will cherish your journals. Just think, you could be encouraging them to do the same. Imagine the rich history you will be providing. Wonderful.

    (((HUGS)) AJ

  19. Autumn Jordon // September 11, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

    I have some of my early writings too. My cousin lived across country and for years we were penpals. It's fun to read.

    Thanks for compliment and idea. I could use that as a title for a book, I've been playing with.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by the PFS.

    AJ
    www.autumnjordon.com
    www.autumnjordonsnotes.blogspot.com

  20. Beth Trissel // September 11, 2009 at 8:23 PM  

    I am fortunate to know a great deal about those who have gone before me. I have a profound appreciation for them and their stories. This rich legacy inspired my leap into penning novels.
    Thanks for sharing this, Autumn, and reminding me.

  21. Joanne // September 11, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

    Very beautiful, Autumn. I had kept a journal for years, but haven't lately. Your post made me think of starting one up again.

  22. Autumn Jordon // September 11, 2009 at 10:14 PM  

    That is wonderful, Beth. I know who my ancestors were and their work, but their feelings, thoughts and dreams are lost. I wish I knew more.

    Thanks, AJ

  23. Autumn Jordon // September 11, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

    Thanks, Joanne. I'm glad I poked you. Have fun. Wink AJ

  24. Dayana // September 13, 2009 at 8:56 AM  

    Beautiful post AJ so vivid and full of imagery. I felt as if I walked along with you and shared what was on your mind.

    Thank you!

    Dayana~

  25. Autumn Jordon // September 13, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

    Thanks, Dayana. Sometimes inspiration comes at the oddest of times. Don't you think?

  26. Deb Carr // September 13, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

    Very Inspiring! I have been trying to gather information about some of my relatives, and the job is almost impossible due to LACK of information! This post inspires me to record all that I know about my grandparents, and what they told me about their families!
    Deb

  27. Autumn Jordon // September 13, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

    Deb, I think I inspired myself. I spent time a family wedding talking to the older relatives and took notes. Every year more stories disappear.

    Glad I could inspire you too.

    (((HUGS)) AJ