"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

the haunting of sweet joanna...

...I recently posted about a box that I found in my closet.  It had been there for at least fifteen years, collecting dust, holding memories, unknown to me.  I must have picked it up while cleaning out my parents house and simultaneously moving into our new house.  I don't remember.

When I first opened the box it felt like I had found hidden treasure (and in many ways I did.)  I wasn't sure if the letters, etc. were of importance or just some old bills and clippings that my dad had put away for safe keeping.  I don't know.  I wondered if I intentionally took the box from the house knowing what was inside and even if my siblings knew about the letters.  They don't.

I have been haunted day and night about the things I've read.  All of it very sweet and loving and an amazing glimpse into everyday life in the '40's.  These are not the people that I knew years later when I made my appearance, they were so changed by then.  I feel like I have been caught with my hand in the cookie jar so to say.  This doesn't feel right, it's too personal, and it's just killing me.   I don't know what to do with the letters.  I want them saved but I don't want to share them with certain people. (that is possibly the ugliest thing I have ever written.)

I don't know how to preserve them for eternity.  A scrapbook, a book with some photos (like having your blog published) or to put the box away and let the next generation find it.

I am reaching out to you, my friends.  If you have any ideas please leave me a comment.  I am literally 'sick' with this.  Something this joyful should not feel this bad.    Thank you ;j


  1. I'd put them back in the box and stash them in a far recess of a closet or a nice dry spot in a shed. You could go one further and get a fire proof box to store them in. (protection from elements and animals)

    I'd not have them published. Some things are too personal to share when they're this close to actual time.

    But, that's just me..

  2. I myself feel , if it is something that may hurt others....have a burning ritual. Many years ago, I burned all the old love letters that my children's father and I wrote each other. He and I were parted at that time also. I prayed and cried as I burned them....but I knew no one else would want them, not really. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  3. I can feel your angst about this, Joanne.
    When I look at photos of my parents when they were courting I hardly recognize them. I don't know them without the cumbersome things that life threw at them and also of course the beautiful life events that occurred as well.
    I would trust your instincts Joanne about what to do with these very personal letters. Have you ever thought that just maybe one or both of your parents may have wanted you or another of their children to find these when they were gone? Just maybe they wanted you all to 'see' that they were once young and vital and had a life before the family came.

    I remember my sister and I finding my father's letter's from the war to my mother......in a box in the attic. We read them most of them and when my father found out we did, he was not happy. He was embarrassed and threw them out.

    Whatever you decide to do trust that decision.

  4. A dilemma for sure. You can't unread them and if there are those you don't want to share them with, you can publish or frame them. I would put them away for a year, then re-visit your feelings about them.

  5. Hmmmm makes me wonder what to do with the box of our "courting" letters. They are probably too personal for anyone else. Not sure i want my family to read them.

  6. I would say to put them in a box for now and then see how you feel in a bit. They are a beautiful part of your parents love for each other. I can imagine how you are haunted by them!!!


  7. Hi Jo, There may be too many for this, but my Mom used to put cherished memento's in her family bible, even a letter to each one of us kids. I think I'd put them aside, like a lot of your friends have mentioned, and revisit your feelings later, and see if you have more clearity on what you'd like to do with them. xo Debbie~ North of the Emerald City

  8. I think I understand what is going on here, Jojo. It is something that you will have to resolve at some point... but not right away. Put the letters in a safe place and give yourself some time. Your dreams, your thoughts and your feelings will tell you which direction you need to go.


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