19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, December 29, 1914: This diary is surely doomed to be a failure and I am terribly tired of writing in it. Christmas has come and gone and I am just the same except a little older. Got some nice presents of which none were misfits. Ma and Ruth seemed to be pleased with the presented I gave them, so then I am satisfied.
Took down the tree today. We never keep our tree long, because there isn’t much to trim it with.
Good-bye old year, good-bye. Tis now Dec. 29, but I am really ready to say good-bye. I haven’t much faith in myself nor has this friend with me, so it is best that we should part.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Good grief, Grandma. . . I hate to disagree on the very last day of the diary, but you are wrong. The diary has done some wonderful things–both for you and for me.
Get your confidence back quickly. You’re going to need it. I looked into my crystal ball and know that you have a long, magnificent life ahead of you with a fantastic husband, and wonderful children and grandchildren.
Adieu for now—I’ll catch up with you when our paths cross again. Go live the rest of your life. You’ll be awesome.