I never should have opened that accordion folder, or worse, start reading the letters, notes and cards . I have done nothing for the past 24 hours but read them all. In away it was like reliving my life from 1955 to the 1990s. There was a lot about me in that folder. There were long impassioned love letters telling me how great I was when we first met to the last letters telling me what a horrible a person I was when we were breaking up.
There were letters from my mother, father and stepmother that I never remembered getting and yet were so familiar because, except for my stepmother, they said the same things they had said when I was a child. My stepmother's letters surprised me as they were filled with her theatre going stories, movies she went without my father because he wouldn't enjoy them (Ingmar Bergman films) and her trips oversea, even getting my father to go to Italy--he was a great traveler but only in the USA! My stepmother is the one who introduced me to the world of art, galleries and museums
Along with those, and a slew of letters from Pepe, Johnny, Bernie and Bill, there were so many letters from people I didn't recognize! I got a 12 hand written on legal page size letter from Tom! Who is Tom? Oh, I had a lot of letters from Tom Webster who who I met in Hollywood. Tom and I kept in touch until the mid 60s and then no more letters. I got a dozen letters from Frank, who after I reread his letters, I realized was a pastor in a Catholic church in another State who I met when he took a vacation in Florida. Let's just say the church didn't know his story.
It was incomprehensible to me how I could have had an intimate relationship with someone for months exchanging letters, calls, going out on dates, sleeping together and not remember who they are--what does that say about me? Yes, I know!
The fun thing about going through these old letters are all the nice things said about me. In the hundreds of cards, notes and letters I would say about 98% are positive and could/would give me a big head (hush!) if I believed them. Of course if I believed those I would have to believe the really nasty ones--mainly written as 'we' were breaking up.
Do I/should I contact these people again? Why? Just to see if they are still alive? If they remember me? How do I do that? Facebook? Google? Bing? Maybe over the weekend I will post a blog giving names, last date of contact and where they lived. What do you think? Should I just let things be as they are? Would you want to hear from someone you may not even remember? And how would you go about finding them? Reaching out to them?
Indulge me while I quote a few letters:
"As I was reading your manuscript of The Free Prisoner I became immobilized (for the lack of a better word) by the deeply contemplative aspect of it--of you -- as experienced in its pages. As I read I became more deeply aware of Martin, The FreeD Prisoner, the ultimate, the personification of sensitive manliness--you made me more aware of myself thanks to your sharing and caring." TOM
I think this is from Linda (I know the last name but)--a 100 pound loser in one of my Weight Watcher classes.
"All my life I've been an object of humiliation therefore when I first walked into your lecture I thought you would be like all the rest. I could not decide whether to sit down or run out. I'm very glad I stayed. knew that someone else could feel the same way I've felt all those years. I have always believed in absolute honesty> I respect you for yours. .........................Accep
t this letter now with my thanks for the help you have given me."
It was a long letter and one of the most heartfelt I ever received from any of my members. I hope she has kept the weight off--should I find out? Should I look for her? Or should I just leave it?
"I think the sole purpose of this letter is to let you know how much you mean to me as well as how much our relationship means to an even greater degree. At this point I can think of nothing more significent to me than that hurried comment from the cruising gentleman who complimented my 'sexy face'." Perry September 10, 1977 11:45 PM Okay who is this Perry??? And should I quote his last letter to me? I don't think so! LOL