Lost words

The text came from nowhere, jarring me from present to past in an instant.

Words, from Maine to California.

From my brother…

Cleaning out mom’s attic. Were u ever looking for your dad’s old Vietnam diary?

No… I wasn’t looking for it.

Because I didn’t even know it existed.

I’ve spent my life wishing for something… anything… that could help me to know him in some way and in an instant, that became possible.

K. found some stuff. i’ll set it aside n ship it 2 u.

How did I not know it even existed? Did I ever ask my mom? Did she forget she had it? Is there something between those covers that she didn’t think I was ready to read?

Everything I know about my dad has been told to me by someone else… filtered through their own experiences and love for him.


Though I’ve longed to know what my dad thought of me… of being a parent… of how he viewed his world, I’m preparing myself for much less.

Yet, somehow, maybe more.

Maybe it will be filled with what he ate, music he loved, places he visited.

Maybe I’ll find clues to who he was. Hints at the way he and I are alike… the parts of who I am that are hardwired… handed to me at birth, before he could teach and influence me.

I’ve longed to find some tangible thread to connect us.

Waiting for my brother to mail to me the very thing that I’ve grieved the non-existence of is truly excruciating.

I didn’t ask him what it says. I won’t because I can’t.

Hearing his words over the phone would cheapen them, somehow.

Even if they simply read, “It was hot today. Had a ham sandwich for lunch.”

Somehow, even the simplicity of that will be enough.

But, now I wait.


  1. angela angelaamman.com

    May the postman hurry those words across the country for you. Having the ability to read something he wrote, in his hand? Oh the gift of that, and I have chills for you.

  2. Greta gfunkified.com

    Wow. I can’t imagine how you would prepare yourself to read something like that. But it could be such a treasure.

  3. Lisa Steinke

    Wow. There is definitely a reason it was discovered. I hope it brings you answers, but at the very least, comfort.

  4. Oh, Nichole! I just got chills for you. Wow. Just, wow. I hope his words bring you comfort in whatever way they can. That they stitch together pieces of your past and heart, perhaps even parts you didn’t know needed stitching.

  5. Jennie B wantapeanut.com

    What an extraordinary find. I know you will savor every word.

  6. julie gardner juliecgardner.com

    Oh my goodness.
    Lump in my throat and shivers.

    What a discovery.
    A piece of your puzzle you didn’t know to wish for.

  7. Rusti mylifeasanofficerswife.com

    I’m hoping that there is a mix of the “mundane” as well as glimpses of his life and dreams in there, and I hope that it brings you some comfort and peace… xo

  8. Bridgette bridgettetales.com

    Chills and excitement for you. That is amazing. A true treasure. I’m wishing it to be here fast and that you can take time, alone, to live each word.

  9. Galit Breen theselittlewaves.com

    CHILLS. I have chills for you.

    (*Of happiness. *This* is the next turn in your story!)


  10. Mandy inmandyland.com

    I’m so excited for you! What a gift!! Sorry. I’m over-using exclamation points in my happiness. :)

  11. Joy theparentingmyth.blogspot.com

    You got your letter!! xo

  12. Heather extraordinary-ordinary.net

    OH lady, I’m so happy for you. I’m so happy for you.

    Every word will tell his story, somehow. And your story will open up with the binding of that journal and I’m just so happy for you.

    I can’t wait to read more about this and one day, I plan to hear you tell part of the story out loud, from a stage somewhere, like at CA.

  13. jill (mrschaos) lifeofjill.com

    I, like so many, have chills. That is amazing and wonderful and I hope the package travels fast.

  14. Sherri

    I am so happy for you…to have the chance to see your father’s thoughts on paper, no matter how mundane. I am anxious to see how it unfolds…

  15. sarah reinhart sundayspill.com

    chills. just chills. how cool to know this is coming for you!

  16. Kris Mulkey bevmothirstytimes.com

    He’s a writer, like you. That’s something already.

  17. Im so excited for you!

  18. Laura anuncommonfamily.com

    I am so happy that you’ll have this! What an amazing find. xo

  19. Natalie

    I can’t wait to hear his words. I am so happy that you’ve been given this gift!

  20. matt

    I always wondered the same thing about your dad. some days I could see you crying on the inside. you never showed it on the outside. your a amazing daughter, mother and wife. especially a wonderful friend.
    just find a nice quiet place and read it and take it all in. good luck

  21. Elena livedogrow.com

    Oh my goodness–what a moment–and how long it must feel to wait for the package to arrive. So excited for you!

  22. I am excited for you! I can’t wait to hear more.

  23. Susan Cooper findingourwaynow.com

    You will be able to connect with your dad in such a beautiful way by reading his own words. That is a wonderful gift and I am so happy for you. :-)

  24. Melanie bronxtoboulder.blogspot.com

    That is so so neat. I can relate. My father has always been a mystery to me – he’s alive but has been in and out of my life. It’s been decades since I’ve seen him (no way to contact him) but I find myself wanting find out more about him, his thoughts as a person.

    I am so happy and excited for you. What a gift!

  25. Kir thekircorner.com

    any words that give a part of him to you, to offer him up to you in some way that was “him” is such a gift.
    I am happy, excited, thrilled for you. I hope that diary gives you small pieces of happiness as you read his words.

  26. Aleta fleurdealeta.blogspot.com

    *hugs* I hope that the words smooth the ache in your heart and spirit.

  27. Kira inastateofmotion.wordpress.com

    That’s pretty amazing. I hope you get from the diary what you most need.

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