Chapter 6: Hope's Journal
Letting the dog back into the house and setting the tea to steep, Anna took a better look at the journal that belonged her aunt. Fitting easily into her hands, the leather was soft and supple, like a well loved book should be. It was simple, brown and gold, with no writing or embellishment on the cover.
Anna couldn't resist.
Pouring herself a cup of tea, Anna wandered into the sitting room and made herself comfortable on the older style love seat that had been left behind. She tucked her bare feet underneath herself, arranged the pillows behind her, and settled in. Trouble jumped up, made room for himself on top of one of her well-placed pillows and contentedly began chewing a rawhide. Anna smiled, shifted to make more room, and steeled herself.
Slowly, as though knowing it was a moment she should savour, Anna opened the journal. There was no pomp or circumstance, the words just began.
August 23, 1979
I turned 28 today. It's official, I'm no longer a young woman. I suppose that is truer than I would like to admit as I feel much older than 28. I have already lived so much more than my years. I have taken over as the adult in our home, finished raising my siblings, and put my youth on hold. I should have realized it would not wait for me to claim it again.
Martin has graduated high school now. Nineteen and full of bravery and knowledge. I am all at once proud of him and chortling at his assurances that he has learned everything. He is so amusing in his sincerity. I cannot wait for him to mature into the man he has shown glimpses of becoming. He has left for college now, the last one to leave the house, and I find I am alone for the first time in 10 years.
I did not realize how quiet and loud this house could be.
It has been 10 years next month since our parents died. 10 years since I came home from my first week of college to both mourn and move on. I find this year has been as sad as the first year. I find myself thinking "It has been a decade since my mother played the violin. A decade since..." Melancholy ridiculous, I need to smarten up about.
I have had a remarkable 10 years. I have watched my siblings grow. I have seen them all enter college and begin their lives. I have played and laughed, sang and cried, worked and loved. My sisters! How proud I am of them. The first women in our family to graduate, get degrees, and become real career women. The first women to prove what women have been saying all along - we are strong and capable! Francie with her poetry and love of literature - a teacher now. Cynthia and her love of order and sharing knowledge with everyone doing just that as a librarian.
Then there is me. I am here. I'm at a moment in my life where everything I do can (could?) be something spectacular. Something important.
I wish I knew what to do with that potential. It's quite paralyzing, really.
Next: Zoe is Persistant