Tuesday, June 7, 2011
For Prosperity's Sake
It all started with a leather journal handcrafted in Italy, embossed with the crest of a lion it reminded me of days living in Europe with Erin. Such heraldic symbols were often in view flapping above castles, manors, etc thus the crest was very appealing and representative of our time residing abroad. Filled with gold-edged paper it was purchased shortly after relocating to America, I wanted to begin documenting the many amazing times we had across Europe so this would be the first step towards fulfilment of that goal. I realized to share the experience with such an amazing creature as Erin was rare and unique in many ways hence the fresh thoughts must be transferred from mind to paper as quickly as possible. Memory fades and facts becomes blurred over time so what is often recalled is not necessary the most accurate picture but something akin to a jigsaw puzzle missing several pieces and that's what I desperately wished to avoid.
Scrap pieces of paper and coffee shop napkins adorned with my chicken scratch were accumulated, organized, edited, and finally the most memorable times were entered into the soft leather journal which often accompanied us on our daily jaunts. While Erin stalked squirrels or socialized with tourists in Savannah's historic district I was jotting down a sentence here and there until the memory was ready to be recorded in the journal for prosperity's sake, then the process began again in earnest. Page by page the journal filled up with stories of travel and adventure, photos were inserted to visually enhance the tales and then select family members were given the keepsake to read as desired. Photos, brochures, maps, receipts etc were used to fill in the gaps especially when trying to remember the name of a hotel, restaurant or some obscure town where cows outnumber the citizens. Many travel related items were kept for no clear reason but they would serve a great purpose down the road as the journal and scrapbook came to life. .
Written in the 2003/2004 timeframe when Erin was a young spirited girl and my memories of Europe were vivid, those words jotted upon coffee-stained napkins would later serve as the blueprint upon which this blog is based. Over the years additional entries pertaining to significant events in her life were documented and I'm so very thankful that I had the vision to realize our friendship was worth recording for many reasons. Her passing would not happen for many years later and never did I believe the journal to be anything more than a personal account of our greatest days together but it has turned out to be a cherished treasure that has sparked an interest in her remarkable life amongst us. To open the journal is to rewind to a happier time in life when days where filled with love, friendship, and laughter and while the human mind will continue to erode with age the pages will always hold many precious memories.
A special pocket-sized journal was purchased shortly after Erin's passing and despite my sorrow I felt obligated to record every detail that my mind could bring forth. The aim was to document the period from the onset of her sickness through our final moments together but the act of putting those final 36 hours onto paper proved to be too difficult and painful a subject so on to other writing projects I ventured albeit the journal still sits upon the dining table waiting for me to complete my task. I believe that my written words hold a purpose that are beyond my understanding but they're meant for a larger audience than myself as Erin's story is too fascinating to not be shared with the masses. Many many years from now I'll have access to several journals filled with stories of love, friendship, and adventure; those pages will hold the most sacred memories with the best friend one could ever ask for....Hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I enjoy talking about her, thanks to all who share in Erin's life!!