Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Journey of a Journal

Journey of a Journal

Sarah's gift to Mom and Dad - Christmas 1995

My Journal:  cover page - April 2, 1975

My Journal: first page of text; April 2, 1975

The following is a page from my Journal, written one year ago; dated April 2, 2012.

April 2, 2012 is also the date I began my blog: "Walk With Father Nature".

April 2, 2012       Aaron's (would be) 37th Birthday.                  High 56°, Low 35° 

Today is April 2. This is the day that Mary, Sarah and I call "Aaron's Day". We do the same on November 20, each year, the date in 1994 that Aaron died.

This evening, I sat on a boulder, and leaned against the Red Oak in our perennial garden. As the sun streamed down on me, tears streamed from  my eyes as I read the booklet Sarah composed for us as a Christmas gift in 1995.

Early Volumes:  1975 -1980

On the inside of this little booklet, (composed of photos of Aaron and Sarah, and quotes selected by Sarah) on the inside cover, are these words:

The volumes accumulate:  1975 - 1991

" Dear Mom and Dad,

I began this collection of quotes, passages and song lyrics the month Aaron died. They all remind me of his presence and his absence. Overall, they give me hope through the pain and joy of remembering. Now I want you to have them.

I love you guys so much!



November 20, 1994

I will always treasure this gift. Sarah called this evening, and we talked, shed a few tears, laughed a lot, and thanked Sarah again for her gift of memories of Aaron.

I love you Sarah. I love you Aaron. I miss you buddy.

(end of entry April 2, 2012)

The years roll on:  1992 - 2007

Although I am pleased with my commitment to this Journal; (one page a day, every day) over these 38 years of writing, I still have a few regrets. I regret that I didn't begin earlier in my life.

Aaron and Sarah "helping" Dad in the garden.

I should have started my Journal the day Sarah was born;  December 1, 1973.

Or the day Mary and I married;  June 5, 1971,

Sarah and Aaron: family fun at Lake Michigan beach.

Or the day I enlisted in the U.S. Army;  March 15, 1968.

Or the day I graduated from Forest Hills Central High School;  June 5, 1966.


Six volumes since retirement:  2008 - present.

Now, in my mid-sixties, I'm thinking about how, and when, and where this writing journey will end. I thank God for my abundant blessings of good health; good eyesight to read and write. Persistence, commitment, and hope in the future encourage me to continue my writing journey.

I have a humble pride for
this long line of Journals,
this wealth of words,
this volume of volumes,
this body of work,
that expresses two thirds
of my life lived thus far.

12 of 28 shelves in our Library.
These Journals will become my memory when I am very old.

Hand-made Father's Day card, and birthday cards from Sarah.


Dedication page of Sarah's booklet to Mom and Dad.

Aaron Havenga's last Journal entry,  October 23, 1993 : 

"The only important thing in this world is love, and spreading love, and positively influencing people."

Aaron made an impact through his love of life, his life of love.

"I was shown the "ripple effect." I saw myself perform an act of kindness, just a simple act of unselfishness, and I saw the ripples go out. The friend I had been kind to was kind in turn to one of her friends, and the chain repeated itself. I saw love and happiness in others' lives because of that one act on my part. I saw their happiness grow and affect their lives in positive ways, some significantly. I felt the love they felt, and I felt their joy. And this from one simple act of kindness."     - Betty J. Eadie

"Are You Kind?"

* A Special Thank You to Sarah Havenga for the gift of:
     "A Book to Remember Aaron By© December 25, 1995

A blessing of fatherhood: the tender, trusting grip from that little hand wrapped around your finger.

Aaron and Daddy out for a walk in the evening sun. All their dreams are on their way.

Photo Locations:

Home  "Library"  -  Cannonsburg,  Michgian

First Home,  Cascade Township,  Michigan

Lake Michigan Beach,  Pentwater,  Michigan

Photos of Aaron and Sarah (1977-1979) compliments of Mary Havenga.