When was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter or even a short note to a friend or family member? Do you go on-line to send greeting cards? During the holidays, are you just too pushed to find the time to sit at your desk and reflect on memories that draw you to someone you love, someone that makes you smile?
I have been guilty of this, but one day I pushed the clutter on my desk to one side and pick up my pen, warmed by the need to share my thoughts.
Oh, how I have missed you.
As I wrote, I remembered a time long ago. My mother loved to write letters. Her thoughts would flow across the page, pertinent facts, silly or rambling reflections; it didn’t matter. I would sit and watch her, usually resting my head on folded arms on the kitchen table. My eyes would follow her hand as she quickly wrote…her renderings elegant, the script beautiful. I would watch her face, maybe a smile, a muffled bit of laughter as she penned a funny happening, or as she gently bit her lip if the words reflected something troubling. She would write and write, hardly aware, I think, that I was there, although there were times when she would ask me to refill her coffee cup, not wanting to take the time to put down her pen and complete this simple chore.
In her quiet but positive way, she taught me the importance of writing; to say thank you for a gift received, or just to stay in touch. Once a month we made a trip to the large department store in the next town. We would get on the bus that would take us to this wonderland of goodies; everything from soft, silky underpinning to the stationary department, the primary reason for our trip.
Oh, my goodness. Even as I type this, a delightful thrill races through me as I remember those times as we settled down for the twenty-minute bus ride. How she always seemed to maneuver our conservation toward me. She had a way of delicately extracting bits of what I felt; my dreams, my image of who I was or wanted to be, thoughts I had unconsciously tucked away. I have almost forgotten how skilled she was.
My mother was the best. Her values resolute, never compromised, always held to the highest level, and although she tried, it was no easy task to instill in me all she knew I must learn. However, I did learn to appreciate the value of staying in touch.
Our first stop, as we entered the store, would usually be the stationary department. She believed in individuality. She would never dream of telling me what to buy, but each trip, as we looked at all the wonderful pieces of writing materials available, I always ended up purchasing the same stationary. It came in a box of fifty sheets, made by a company named Montag, the color of dark cream. It was simple but beautiful, and just like me, no curlicues, no frills.
Yes, I remember these times and this grand lady who tried to teach me so much, and as I pick up my Parker pen, filled with brown ink, and reach for a new sheet of my dark cream stationary, my joy is simply beyond description as I write ―
Oh, how I have missed you.