This post was first published in February 2013 but is getting new life thanks to reFresh Friday.
I was summoned for jury duty recently.
The third time in seventeen months. I didn’t realize until I showed up that after serving you are exempt from serving again for 24 months and I could have contested the summons. But really, I was looking forward to sitting in a large room waiting patiently for my number to be called while reading a book.
There is no part of my life that involves sitting in one place for a long period of time reading a book. So I got really excited for jury duty.
Please don’t tell anyone I said that.
I don’t want to serve on a trial though, because that takes too much time.
I was released from jury duty around noon and got to spend the afternoon walking around downtown, shopping, and thrifting.
My favorite thrift shop is top secret and in a bad neighborhood. It’s full of gems and I walk away every.single.time with something I love. I will never share this place with anyone, it’s that good. Don’t even ask, because I won’t tell you.
While I was there, I was working on adding to my obsessive book collection and I came across a fabric bound notebook that looked like a recipe book. When I started thumbing through it, I realized it was someone’s journal. Specifically, a seventy-eight-year-old woman’s journal.
It immediately made me feel guilty for reading it. The very first page was filled with her thoughts on why she needed to get her story down on paper and why she had to do it now, before she started to forget all the best parts.
This made my heart hurt.
Who was this woman? What were her stories? And how did this book end up at a thrift store?
I would like to tell you I bought her journal. I have been known to buy a stranger’s wedding album if I think it might be thrown away.
But I did not. I’ve thought about it every day since passing it up and I wish I had.
This beautiful old woman wanted someone to know her. She needed someone to remember her stories.
I know that feeling. It is sometimes overwhelming.
And I wish I would have bought that journal.