A Different Kind of Journal
How do you remember the special moments with your kids?
One of our most treasured records of memories with Banner Davut is a journal of entries we wrote to him. Kara’s mom had done this for her as a child. She wrote detailed entries of Kara’s developmental steps and gave her the journal when she became a mother herself.
When Kara became pregnant with our first child, we set out to carry on the same tradition. Every month or two one of us would write an entry to Banner. I wrote each like a letter to him, describing his developments at each stage. Every step was so new and exciting, especially with him being our first child. On birthdays or special occasions sometimes both Kara and I would write. But other times months would pass before we carved out time to write an entry. It’s by no means a full record, but we tried to capture the essence of him at any given age. What were the words he was saying that week? What did we observe in his personality? What were the recent funny moments?
For example, when Banner was eight months old, I wrote to him,
In the last few months I've told you and Mommy how I feel my love for you really growing. Of course I loved you since I was the first to hold you in my arms at the hospital, but now I am really feeling an affection welling up in my heart. There are times now where we look at each other, and I feel that you are really looking back at me with budding emotions and feelings. The times we share--like when you were cracking up yesterday while I did push-ups-- really make me feel a developing bond and the hope of a special relationship between father and son in the years to come. I love you!
Journal entries like this were a way to connect with Banner, even when he was too young to offer much in response, expecting that one day he would be able to read about the special times we shared together. We kept at it. We filled up a first journal before he turned four years old.
We never imagined that the journals would end up being a record for ourselves rather than be passed on to Banner.
We got halfway through a second journal. I wrote the last entry just a few weeks before Banner went to Heaven. Actually, I continue to add an entry on each Banner Day. I update Banner on our family, our remembrance of him, and our anticipation of the day we are united with him in Heaven.
We have started journals for each of our other kids too. It’s a little bit harder to keep up multiple journals, but we occasionally each take one of the journals, and write separate entries while sitting together. Sometimes when I miss Banner this is one of the most meaningful things for me to do. As I missed Banner this Christmas, it felt like an extension of my love for him to write an entry in Aslan's journal.
May we encourage you to write a journal entry to your child right now? There’s no time like the present. Few things please us more than to think that Banner Davut’s life is an impetus for other parents to make investments with their children.