Back to the Future Meets Twilight Zone.
My grandmother, who wrote that at age 20, could not have been more wrong on all counts. Sadly, she did not live until she was an old lady, dying unexpectedly at age 54. And the reading is quite interesting to a granddaughter who has always been curious about this woman who longed to visit Africa so much that she kept a pet monkey and alligator in the bathroom.
I must say, however, it gives one a queer feeling to be reading the longings and frustrations of one's girlish grandmother. The diary spans two years, and it is right at the time when my grandfather was actively courting her.
"Oh, I long for him, " she writes. "Does he love me?" Any girl can relate to her back-and-forth inner turmoil of endless analysis and second-guessing mixed with wild hopes and passionate outcries. When he travels to Hong Kong as a merchant marine, she counts the long months down. "Its been four weeks since I've seen him." Fact is, if he hadn't loved her and married her, I wouldn't be reading this!
This was also the time when my grandmother was in a tremendous amount of mouth pain, and was slowly having her teeth pulled. Halfway through the first year, she decides to have all of her teeth pulled, which results in a very painful two weeks and numerous frustrations at adjusting to dentures. Those dentures just kept popping out at the worst times!