Originally written 5/4/11 The journalist and the journaler – The Write Brain Workbook, Bonnie Newbauer You are a 21 year old German about to marry an American journalist. The wedding is in two hours. You have been a devout journal keeper your whole life. Write your last journal entry as a single woman and start with “the clock in this room”
The clock in this room says that I have two hours before the wedding, so I suppose I should get on with it, with the last journal entry I’ll write as a single woman. It’s hard to believe that by the end of the day I’ll be Mrs. Charles Morris of 63 Appleby Lane, Lawrence, Kansas. When I think about it, this whole thing seems completely improbable. How does a 21 year old from Nuremburg end up moving to the American mid-west? She meets an American combat correspondent at a bar in Berlin, that’s how. A former combat correspondent, to be precise. Charlie enlisted in the Army out of high school and had been in the service for five years when I met him. He was on leave and I was visiting a friend. I didn’t realize it at the time but that was the best day of my life. He told me that he had wanted to be a journalist since he was a boy, but I suppose the dream turned into a nightmare. I knew he loved me when he told me about the first death witnessed. A 28 year old Marine from Cedar Rapids, Iowa was on patrol when he stepped on a landmine. He tried to explain what he saw, and I could imagine that the body just disappeared. It made me think of my Grandpa Rudolf and how he died in the Dresden bombing. How dreadful to think of being alive one minute and the next there’s nothing left to indicate you had ever existed. I suppose in a war there is no good or bad really. We all suffer and grieve in the same way. We are all good and bad in some way, depending on who’s looking at us. When I mentioned it to Charlie, he wrote it in the notebook he always carries with him. It’s flattering that he finds me inspirational.
Less than two hours from now I’ll be married and on my way to Kansas. My friend Annaliese jokes with me about dropping a house on a witch, but I don’t find that funny. When I tell Charlie that I’m afraid of tornadoes, he reassures me that we’ll be safe. The house has a root cellar and the nearest warning siren is three blocks away, so I’ll be sure to hear it. We’ll be living with Charlie’s parents while he studies journalism at the University of Kansas. I’ll try to find a job at a bank since I studied international finance in college. It won’t be easy but once I get established we’ll try to find a small apartment. Charlie told me that he’s bringing the best part of his military career home with him. I don’t know what the future holds, but as long as we’re together, anything is possible.