I am feeling very sad.

I am reading my mother's diaries trying to track a legal financial matter. I spent two hours in the storage unit yesterday. My great aunt's final papers are there. So are my grandmothers. My mothers. And I am still dealing with my father's will.

My mother died in 2000 and her ovarian cancer was diagnosed in 1997. But she has copious notebook diaries back to high school. She and my father loved each other and had a tempestuous relationship with alcohol and with fighting.

In the last diary she writes about how much she loves him even through all of it.

My sister said the diaries are too depressing to read. They are and they aren't. I was reading the one from when my sister was in eleventh grade and not doing well. She is scarcely mentioned. She is not around much. The next year she went to Seattle, 3000 miles from my parents in Alexandria, Virginia, and lived with friends while she finished high school through community college. My mother says only, "She is going to Seattle tomorrow." Nothing else. No why. No feelings about it. My sister drops out of the diary even further.

I am also reading The Diary of a Farmer's Wife 1796-1797. It is not clear whether it is a forgery, but it is very good regardless. Anne Hughes writes about the work done that day and about the people she is with.

My mother was three years older than I am now when she was diagnosed with cancer. Her mother lived into her 90s, under her care. We don't know what comes next, do we? I miss my mother reading these but I do not miss the fighting....