Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A Letter To My Daughter On Her 13th Birthday



















June 12th 2010

Dear Briony,

Happy 13th Birthday.
I know that right now the money we gave you for your birthday is probably your greatest treasure but I hope you will find great treasures in this diary for many years to come.
I started writing a diary when I was about eight or nine after watching a Blue Peter programme on Anne Frank who was given a diary for her 13th birthday which was also on June 12th.
And I have kept a diary (on and off) since then for the past 30 and more years.
My diary has been a great friend to me.
When I have experienced great things like meeting your dad; getting married and giving birth to all four of you, I have been able to keep those wonderful memories alive by re-reading my diary.
When I am upset or worried I write about my fears or "sorrows" as Anne Frank called them and once they are outside of me and on paper they are so much easier to bear - a case of better out than in!
And I am not sure I would have become a writer if I hadn't kept a diary.
Through the process of recording my thoughts and feelings I got to appreciate the pleasure and power of words.
A diary helped me make sense of the present and look forward to the future while taking pleasure from the past.
I know I have waffled on a bit but I do hope you read the passge I have enclosed about Anne Frank and that you tuck this letter away somewhere in your diary.
This Five Year diary will take you to your 18th birthday and life as a fully-fledged grown-up but through recording the last five years of your childhood you will give yourself a priceless gift.
Much love,
Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxx



Extract
Taken from The Diary of A Young Girl
By Anne Frank

Wednesday, 5 April 1944

My dearest Kitty,
Unless you write yourself, you can’t know how wonderful it is; I always used to bemoan the fact that I couldn’t draw, but now I’m overjoyed that at least I can write. And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself.
But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine having to live like Mother, Mrs Van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?
I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies…

17 comments:

  1. What a wonderful wonderful gift to your daughter! You made me cry. I wish your beautiful treasure to follow your footsteps and become such a wonderful woman as her mum is. Happy Birthday, Briony! Ciao. A.

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  2. What a great idea, wish I had kept one! Happy Birthday to your girl, lots of June birthdays!

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  3. Oh Jane what a beautiful letter to your daughter.
    You make me want for you to be my mom - but you are too young for that.
    I hope your girl appreciates the wonderful mother God has given her.
    hugs-

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  4. a super sweet note that I hope she cherishes for a lifetime!

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  5. What an incredible present for your daughter!

    I kept a diary from about the same age as you, I think. It ebbed and flowed a bit, and is now mostly digital, but it's... well, as you put it, a friend.

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  6. That's so lovely Jane. I wish I could start again with my daughters. I wish they were still thirteen so I could get it right this time.

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  7. Happy birthday Briony! What a beautiful gift to your daughter Jane. Your words are just perfect and I am sure will be read and re-read again and again. Much love to you both.
    Mervat x

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  9. Aw, that made me tear up. :) I've also kept a diary for a long time, since I was 12. My blog is now sort of my diary. Your daughter will value that letter from you, Jane.

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  10. Thank you so much for your kind comments. We had to take the diary back after school and get a new one as we couldn't open the lock. She made her first entry last night.

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  11. Your daughter is one lucky girl to have a mum like you - I'm sure she appreciates you (as much as a thirteen-year-old appreciates her parents...). Happy (belated) birthday to Briony and congratulations to you, Jane, for having such fabulous, creative ideas.

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  12. Oh Jane what with this wonderful post and your lovely comments on mine I'm bereft I won't be at the event in Liverpool to meet you xxxxx

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  13. Jane,
    What a wonderful treasure and maybe a new family tradition. Happy 13th Birthday to a very special young woman and congratulations to her amazing mum.
    much love
    Heather x

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  14. Good evening, Jane, actually Good Morning! I'm so glad I visited your blog before going to bed - what lovely thoughts and warmth you give! Your daughter is a lucky girl to have you and I feel priviledged that I can take distanced part in your life through this amazing medium. As always, a big Thank You! Kiki x

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  15. Aw, that made me tear up. :) I've also kept a diary for a long time, since I was 12. My blog is now sort of my diary. Your daughter will value that letter from you, Jane.

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