Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book #2 and My Fear of Being Forgotten

I started and finished Book 2 of my 30 Before 30 yesterday: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I don't think anyone recommended it to me. I can't really remember, but I think it was just a highly rated book on goodreads that I thought I'd like. I was right. I loved it. It reminded me a lot of one of my all time favorite books: Eve's Daughters by Lynn Austin. They're both those books that jump back and forth from the past to the present and span generations of mothers and daughters. I love them, but they always make me a little sad. In The Secret Keeper, we're introduced to Dorothy as a dying 90 year old woman, but throughout the book, you find out about her childhood and young adult years and get to know her as a young woman. It makes me sad to see her wasting away to nothing like the vibrant, colorful character she was. And it makes me think about my own life and how death is inevitable. Haha. So uplifting. I got to thinking why it bothers me so much and ultimately I think I fear being forgotten.

I hate driving by cemeteries and seeing the names emblazoned in stone from ages ago. I always think about how they used to be lives filled with love and fear and passion, and now they're reduced to a name on a stone that someone might occasionally place flowers on. The newer graves probably have visitors and people who mourn their loss, but the older ones are just forgotten. They're someone's great-great grandparents who are nothing but a dusty photograph or a series of remembered anecdotes. And ultimately I fear that for myself.

I think that's why I so obsessively chronicle my life - through this public blog, my private journal, the letters I write to my girls on their birthdays, the baby books I fill with milestones and memories. I want to leave my mark on the world. I want to be remembered.

In The Secret Keeper, Dorothy's daughter remembers her mother as so warm and loving and fun. I want my girls to have those same rosy memories of me. I want them to remember me dancing with them in the kitchen, snuggling in bed with them reading, laughing and tickling and loving on each other. Mostly I want them to look back on their childhood and remember it as warm and loving and joyful.

Originally, I berated myself for being so self-centered (I've even gone so far as to tell Justin never to remarry if I die. I want him to mourn me forever. Lol.), but then I realized that my fears make sense. We weren't created to die and be forgotten. We were created for eternity. We have eternal souls.

Maybe a hundred years from now, some historian will come across my decades of journaling and do some great case study on life in the new millennium. Or maybe my journals will die with my daughters. I'll probably be forgotten someday with nothing more to remember me by than a dusty gravestone and a web address. (Haha - maybe I'll have my blog address engraved on my tombstone so people passing by can look me up.) But I know that my death isn't the end. And there is one who remembers me. One who delights in me now and will for all eternity.
The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
I loved The Secret Keeper. It was clean (mild swearing, mild sexual references), well-written, and surprising. There was a twist at the end that makes me want to go back and read it again with renewed perspective. So far, I'm on track with my one book a week. My third choice might prove a little more challenging, though. Stay tuned for my thoughts on Out of a Far Country

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