WRITING 101: DAY 8 – Reinvent the Letter Form

Dear Mom,

It’s been a little over two years since you left. And yes, we had the party that you wanted: we convinced the organist to play Kermit’s “The Rainbow Connection;” we released balloons; and when we got home we toasted your life with the 60 year old Grand Marnier. And I know you approved of the picture board we created of your life because the music box that never played chimed a couple of notes. (I don’t care if my ex-husband says it was just stuck; I know it was you.)

At the All Saints Day church service, you were recognized as one of the church’s saints who had passed on to a better life. I was there. I have the candle. And I cried inside because I miss you so much.

It’s been a little over two years since you left. Your grandson and his wife and family are living in your house. They are doing well, and he is working to jump through the hoops to get a promotion at work. He would be off the phones and work as a supervisor with the employees to better their communication skills.

Your other grandson is still working as a massage therapist. He loves his work. He and his girlfriend are starting, again, to look for a house to call their own. Right now, however, they are living with her parents. Remember them? Her grandmother is the one you used to get corn from for the squirrels.

Life has really changed for me and I thank you. I have retired from teaching, we have moved out of state a bit earlier than planned, and your son-in-law is now driving flatbed.

Life is good, but I miss you daily. You know, I still have your phone numbers programmed into my phone. I just can’t bring myself to delete them. I miss your numerous calls each day: “Good morning, how are you doing?”, “I found ___. What should I do with it?”, “I just wrote a letter to ___. Could you listen to it?”, “Want to go see ___ (fill in play, musical, concert)?”, “How about dinner tonight?”

I miss the dinners we shared; now, I eat alone when my husband is on the road. I miss the family and life stories you used to tell, and I wish you were here to fill in the stories I have questions about as I go through your things? I miss you being proud of my accomplishments: teaching, music, writing.

I’m looking at joining an orchestra down here just like I did in our home town, but I am scared. I never had to tell you when I was scared, or worried, or frustrated – you always knew. I could share anything with you. You were my best friend. You were there when no one else cared, when no one else listened.

At the celebration of your life, I was amazed at what you had told people about me. I was amazed that people told me that I was just like you because I had really only learned in the last two months of your life how strong you really were. If I can only be half the person you ever were.

I cherish in my heart your words of wisdom, your listening ear, and your warm, embraces. Till we meet again, I love you.

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