yesterday's post reminded me of the many journals she left behind. I had started transcribing them, simply in hopes of speeding up the reading and comprehension processes, owing to the difficulty I have, at times, in deciphering her handwriting. After a while, though, I had given up on the process. There was too much of life here and now demanding my attention.
However, with the arrival of Edna Tully's journal in the mail last month, my interest in transcriptions was reawakened. There is so much left to do to capture the essence of these two women, which inspires me to really get busy the minute I arrive home.
I've had other inspiration prompting me to get back to this business at hand: a fellow genealogy blogger has been slogging through this same process. Joan, of Roots'n'Leaves, has been diligently transcribing the 1850s era journals of her great-great grandfather, James P. McPherson, since at least her 2001 blog entry in which she confesses her sister's apt portrayal of her passion: "Some of her best friends have been dead for 200 years."
Journals and diaries are such a wonderful window on the souls of these departed ancestors. Even in the writing of my husband's relative, Edna Tully, though she completed her diary as a teenager, it projects a slice of her life at the time, endearing her to us--and allowing us to share the pathos of one of the great losses of her life, the death of her grandmother. There is nothing like reading the thoughts of a person, in his or her own words, and letting those written passages paint the picture of who that person is becoming to us, the future generations. I so want to be part of capturing that retro-vision and passing it along so others may know, too.