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...a Letter came in the mail...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Yesterday, something cool arrived in the mail. It was a letter hand-addressed to my late mother.

Inside were 2 photocopied pages and a thank you note. The note was from a local newspaper columnist who has since retired. My dad had written a glowing review of one of his articles, and sent it to him in 1985. This man had saved it, and wrote to tell my mom how special the note had been to him all of these years.

The note from my dad, written a year before he died, was full of praise, and I could see why the guy liked it. But it was funny to me in other ways, that this man would never appreciate. Dad wrote it on a scrap-pad page. Didn't even take the time to find a page of loose-leaf paper. It's all hand-written, in caps, with an unconventional use of quotation marks for emphasis. It's a two page letter, but Dad didn't even use two pages of scrap-pad. He just wrote on the back. And at the bottom of the front page, he wrote "(OVER)" just in case the guy couldn't figure out what to do when the text suddenly stopped at the end of the page.

It was awesome.

* I was glad my dad wrote something that would make this guy happy, for so long!
* I was glad the man saved it, and thought enough so send me a copy!
* I was glad to find something new about my Dad.
* I was happy just to recognize Dad's handwriting.
* My brother and sister will also get a huge kick out of it.

There's an interesting chain of energy that moves with this letter. A slow-moving ping-pong of happiness! It was the highlight of a rather normal day.

P.S. Moms and Dads sometimes make you crazy, but love 'em while you got 'em.
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  • SUZY6281
    Thank you for sharing this. What a wonderful thing to receive. I'm glad I sat down and took some time to read some blogs today. You made me smile.

    thank you!

    3356 days ago
    how precious that life gives back in a huge way when you least expect it....cherish, grateful and loving memories were conjured up as i read your blog.

    about 5 years ago, i wrote to a family who's father had a weekly column in the local paper, explaining how it got me through a most difficult part of my life, how i never forgot about it and after 30 years felt an overwhelming need to let them know how grateful i am to their late father.

    i wasn't sure how the family would take my letter, but it didn't matter. i just needed them to know how this one article made a big impact in my life and how much i appreciated their dad's wisdom.

    a month after i sent the leter, i received a reply in the mail from one of his sons who was very thankful for letting the family know how their dad had helped me. hearing from them gave me such peace and closure that i can't explain.

    it's strange how our lives intermingle and touch other lives in ways that most of us will never have a chance to know, except for things like this.

    thanks for sharing!

    debbie, xoxo

    3357 days ago
    What a great gift. It is almost like your Mom and Dad sent you a message from them for Christmas. Makes my heart smile.
    3384 days ago
    My grandmother used to sing this song to us as babies: Froggie Went A-Courtin'. My mom and I still tried to sing it, after granny passed, but we couldn't remember all the verses. So my mom actually wrote to a historian who sent back this HUGE folder detailing the (unbelievably long) history of that song. She included all the extant versions of the song, which ran to literally a dozen verses.

    Can you believe this woman went to such trouble to give us this info? It's SUCH a treasure to have it! It makes me remember my granny.

    We should all put pen to paper more often.
    3385 days ago
    What an amazing gift for you! I have both my parents but my husband does not and he reminds me often how lucky I am.

    Your blog reminded me of something that recently happened to my mom. A cousin I haven't seen in years dropped by my parents house with a recording of my grandfather talking about something. My cousin ran across it and made a copy for my mom. He passed away in 1981. I don't even remember his voice really and I am dying to listen to it. My mom on the other hand is not so sure. I can understand her apprehension and will wait until she is ready ... but holy cow I can't WAIT!

    3385 days ago
    Awwww :) It makes me appreicate my parents already. I would love to find something like this from them one day :)
    3385 days ago
    I love the idea of 'a slow-moving ping-pong of happiness' and the joy it brings with each ricochet.

    Do you suppose the columnist, having been in the newspaper business, might have known via obits that your dad had passed on and that his gift would somehow be more meaningful?

    Too bad he didn't enclose a copy of the article, too, to further put your dad's note into context.
    3385 days ago
    Love this!!! Thank you for sharing. I have old notes and letters, but it's always so good to hear from people who respond years after an event. You brought back a lot of memories. Good memories. Have a wonderful day and Keep Sparkin'!!
    3386 days ago
    this is like the christmas miracle story. in this day and age when no one writes notes any more . for this man to be touched by something you dad wrote years ago and he kept it in his heart and head all this time and now wants to share the importance with you. and you share this great experience with all of us, the power of the written word.people touching people and the chain continues. we must all remember that something we say can change a life. al you had me with the word lube.!!!! I love the slow moving ping=pong of happiness. very good word choices. you will always find reminders that mom and dad were the best. emoticon
    3386 days ago
    This is totally awesome! Great story Al. Makes me wanna go home and look at all the cards I've saved from my mom over the years. Just to remember her words and her handwriting and feel the love. emoticon
    3386 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/9/2009 3:15:36 PM
    What a wonderful piece of mail to receive. Really a gift. Thanks for sharing it.

    3386 days ago
    A slow-moving ping-pong of happiness! It was the highlight of a rather normal day. "

    Nothing comes close to the feeling of that. What a wonderful story you shared with us.

    After my Mom passed I found my Father's letters to her and read and savored every word on each page. My mom and I lost him when I was only 3 years old and for me it was a huge glimpse into his thoughts and dreams. Just recently after my mom's passing I found an old grocery/to do list she wrote and it made my heart sing in the discovery. Not to mention she wrote part of it in shorthand, which I still haven't been able to decipher as of yet.

    Thank you again for letting us share in this moment.
    3386 days ago
    You've had an early Christmas. I'm really touched by his response to his response to her probable response and their potential response. Thanks for sharing.
    3386 days ago
    Loved the blog, thank you for sharing it!
    3386 days ago
    "A slow-moving ping-pong of happiness! It was the highlight of a rather normal day. "

    I love that! How awesome to get such a neat gift!
    3386 days ago
    What a great story!
    3386 days ago
    fantastic.. i save old notes that my mom scribbled too.. makes me feel closer to her..thanks for writing this.. it made my heart happy... zo
    3386 days ago
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