As best as I can tell, this was the dark green journal that spanned from January 1993 all the way through the end of 1994, with a few sparse entries and documents from 1995 written or tucked into the back. It was one of my final notebook journals to actually be completed from cover to cover. By 1995 and 1996 I had become too busy to keep a daily log/journal of events, and other journal notebooks started to take on a random thought pattern of writing.
This journal would have been a literal day by day, or week by week account of events in my life at that time; including my court testimony and prosecution of Neal Crase for child molestation and sodomy rape. But this journal also included some of my most impassioned and imaginative writings about family, friends, childhood memories that were flooding back to me in fleeting images, and of course a relationship that was moving beyond friendship into what would have been my first marriage.
Of all of the journals I had written during this time period of my life, this one was more than just random rants or venting of frustrations with life; or a documentation of a specific romantic relationship.
Unlike previous journals, it was a journal documenting my life's journeys both past and present (1993-94). Interspersed within the pages were brief summaries of past life memories, such as:
- my Summer playing baseball for St. Thomas Moore,
- documentation and memories providing proof of Neal's transgressions,
- memories of camping with my family at Greer's Ferry Lake,
- getting my first big boy bike, and the time my Dad and I had built a dirt bike from an old bike frame found in the trash,
- buying my first car,
- what it was like when we first moved to St. Peters,
- My time away in the Army,
- My "First Time" with a romantic interest (Michelle),
- Volunteer work during the Flood of '93,
- my experiences teaching summer school,
- finishing up at SCCC and transferring to UMSL,
- exploration into thoughts and feelings I had kept bottled up and buried in my mind for more than a decade of my life, etc...
Every page, front and back, had been filled out in tiny print to ensure that it would all fit into the pages. The notebook was also full of supplemental pages that had been typed on a computer (my first experimentation with journaling in digital form) and then printed to be taped or pieced into the proper place of sequence.
The contents and volume of thoughts and memories in this one single "Meade - 5 subject" spiral notebook was more extensive than 3 or 4 other journals combined. It's demise if a huge loss to me, and has saddened me to the core of my being. there were memories documented in that journal that I only had fleeting clarity of mind to record in that unique moment in time.
Those recorded thoughts and memories, and the perspective I had of them at age 22 are now lost to me forever.
Some of those memories I am even now again unable to recall. The moments that triggered their vivid detail no longer present in the accessible parts of my cluttered mind. Others faded over time, and forgotten.
Sadly, of all of the journals that I might have considered one day passing down to my descendants for a memory keepsake; this was probably the only one that would have truly given an accurate insight into who I was in my younger years of life.