As a diarist, I stink.
Although I love to keep journals, keeping one daily has not been a hallmark of my adult life.
I have many notebooks that started out as daily journals, only to get misplaced, rediscovered, misplaced and rediscovered after another notebook — or two — had been started.
I regret this, because at my age, my memory is something I forget with. I’d love to have a daily record of my wonderfully mundane amazing life.
Fortunately, I have this column.
August marked my 20th anniversary as a columnist on Guam. My first column appeared Aug. 22, 1999.
Back then, I had seven children, ages 15 to nearly 3. We had a dog, whom we had brought from the states. I was 42.
Today, I have nine biological and two foster children, ages 35 to 11. The dog that had come with us — Peaches — died in 2012. I am, uh, 20 years older.
I’ve also acquired three daughters-in-law, two sons-in-law, one grandson and five granddaughters, all of whom are scattered around the states.
In 1999, I was writing about life — life in general, life on Guam, family life, life and death — and about any weird thing that struck a chord with me.
And 20 years later, I’m still writing about life and about any weird thing that strikes a chord with me.
It almost sounds like nothing has changed, but that would not be the case.
Looking through the 1,000-plus columns that fill my file drawer, I see my life has changed many times over. I’ve lost relatives and dear friends here and stateside. I’ve welcomed and dispatched many friends at the airport.
The arrival of our daughter, Deborah, with Down syndrome changed more than the columns reflect, because much goes unsaid in my battle with her extra genetic material and its complications.
As I review my archives, I am humbled by the many things I’ve been able to do in the last two decades and by the privilege I’ve been given to share so much with my readers. Thank you for staying with me.
Looking back, I also see how I have changed.
In 1999, I was confident in myself.
Now, I am far less confident in myself, and far more in God.
He has orchestrated this wonderfully mundane amazing life.
And he will direct it to the end.