Wednesday, December 19, 2012
I was asked by my father to transcribe my grandpa's diary. Scribbled in pen and pencil and written over the span of three years, this diary is a personal account of my grandfather's life as a solider in World War II. It starts July 2nd, 1940.
When my father asked me to do this, over a year ago, I was not at all interested. I was busy. I had too many things to do. But this year during the holiday season I thought I'd start.
I need a magnifying glass and a light. I'll need some patience and a second opinion too, but I have indeed started.
I have opened the diary.
And in doing this, I have entered a new world.
The words etched into these pages were written by a young man only beginning to learn about life. A man who was cheeky, who was curious, who wanted to have a good time. This man I knew only as my grandfather. His war stories are of times before he met and married my grandmother. Before he ever dreamed of having a family.
So as my eyes take time to examine the ink pressed into the weathered paper, my mind takes time to imagine his reality, to create a picture in my head of his experience. As I delicately hold the edges of the paper, I imagine his hands pressed along these same pages, sixty years prior.
But he's doing it now, sixty years later, on paper.
Oh, the questions I would ask him if he were still alive.