154. Letter Writing

         I was always into letter writing. I saw my aunt and my mom exchanging letters. My aunt would be in Arizona; my mom on the family farm. I loved those letters. I found out my aunt was picking oranges from a letter she wrote.

           I wrote many letters when I left home. I was on the other side of the world for six months so airmail was the letter of the day. I saved my one and only letter I received from my dad.

            My mom wrote me many a letter; in all the different places I lived. Not sure that I saved any of those. That is way too bad.

           In 1992, when I was having a major life crisis, a family friend came from England to visit. She was old enough to be my mother; was in fact my dead sister`s mother in law at one time. We went for a long walk and I shared with her what I knew about my sister`s life and death. She wrote me a letter when she returned to England and that started a twenty-five-year correspondence of letter writing, card exchanging and above all; a deep, abiding friendship.

           As in any relationship, there have been ups and downs. MOSTLY UPS, but interesting that I notice as I heal old wounds, it`s easy to remember the downs. Maybe by remembering, I am healing them now.

            I will focus on the great. She was a phenomenal listener and gave me much joy and hope as well as a larger picture in regards to life after loss. She lost her husband through a messy divorce, raised children on her own; would in letters; share her life of reading, travel, volunteering, yoga, her interest in politics, or the world`s goings on. It gave me a yearning to learn and to see things I still have not seen like the blues of the Mediterranean, the white houses of the Greek islands or the heather in Scotland.

                When I secured a job where I had the opportunity to get a passport, had the extra money to travel, the first place I went was to England to see my friend. The letter writing that followed moved to a deeper level as I could imagine to a greater degree the daily life she shared.

               I saved all her letters.  All the cards she sent through the years. I want to give them to my sister`s daughter if she wants them.

                 My friend is in her nineties now; in September she travelled to Indiana from England to visit my niece; this grand daughter of hers.  Within the last few years, she has learned to email, and the letter writing has dropped significantly. The email is still like a letter. Every so often, I go to the post office and never know when there will be a surprise. Usually her correspondence ends with “Keep well, keep happy.”

                                                        January 30, 2017


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