Saturday, August 20, 2011

Letters

The first day home after almost six weeks on the road I was at a loss for what to do. Once the laundry was done, the camper cleaned, the second bath....now what? I didn't want to start into school work yet. Not, yet. So I decided to clean out my email box, and that lead me to reading all my blogs back to the beginning, and then letters I had written my daughter, and she had written me.

These letters started when she was heading off to university, to live in residence. Only up the hill to SFU, but still it seemed so far away. Many of the letters are short and silly and verifying this and that. But a number are heart-wrenching. Even as I write this I have tears finding there way down my face, and as I sat at the kitchen table a few days ago it was the same.

They were the letters about broken hearts, broken promises, apologies, and sometimes misunderstandings. They were the letters where we could speak truths that couldn't always be spoken in person. At least not then. They were the letters of a young woman finding her way in the world, and a middle-aged woman trying to help.

These letters are a gift. Even though they are digital, and not tied up with ribbon in a cedar chest. They are a gift.

I have similar letters from and to my son as he travels the world trying to find his place. I have many, many letters from and to my husband when I have been travelling without him, or he without me. Those letters are full of love. I have letters from my sister filled with such understanding that it is little wonder she is my best friend.

And they are all saved on the computer. But that doesn't seem right. So, I will begin the process of downloading them and filing them in order and perhaps, even, wrapping a ribbon around them.

Those letters tell a story of a woman and her family. A woman loved by her family. A woman who loves her family fiercely. A woman who sometimes has to read letters that could break her heart, but they don't because she knows that the relationship that has forged that trust has wrapped her heart in such a way that she could bear it.

These are letters full of love, honesty, trust and wisdom on all sides, and they should be saved in the truest sense of the word.



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