I located several more of my father, the renaissance man’s, copper art; reminded how much my brother has his artistic gifts, and even found a typed card I created for my mother and father for their 18th wedding anniversary, written when I was 15 years old. It took me back to a time when we were all together, as a family, my mother, father, brother and beloved dog, during a period when I felt love and loved, even though there were strong indications of serious marital discord.
An excerpt from the oversized card typed on construction paper reads:
“If money is the root of all evil than this card is sent from one of the most angelic and spiritual minded of all earthbound creatures, because of my complete lack of that terrible evil. If any gift is to symbolize my deeply felt devotion, it is all the better that I have none, for it would only serve to belittle my love. I would, if possible, keep up with tradition by presenting you with some relic of my affection, not to minimize but to show how minute anything is in this world, compared to you. This card is expensive in as much as no amount of money could buy the gratitude, sincerity or love presented with this card. Your heart is the scale that judges its worth…
I to have had the same sense of humor back then, and the same belief that money doesn’t make a person or situation rich, even though my writing style was more “passive voice” back than, than “active,” I recognize aspects of my evolving voice.
Less than a year ago, during another time of de-clutterng, reorganizing, and reflection, I found a note, that I almost discarded in my attempts to clear my space. My mother must have begun jotting it down on 3 by 3 inch notepad shortly before she transitioned, it read:
“My dear, dear Linda. I love you and have loved you more than life itself, not for your accomplishments, but for you being your caring, loving, understanding and giving, not only to me but of everyone. Sugar, I know that you’re going to miss me because we have been so close, but we both know that sometime it would happen. But know this--You made made my life worth living and gave me all that I could ask for and more for a Daughter”
I keep her note by my bedside. When we are no longer required to “stay in place,” I’m going to find a way to secure it so that the type won’t continue to fade. But if it does, I still have the memory of the love in those two square sheets of paper indelibly printed in my heart.
I found journals and programs reminding me of institutions, events, honors and awards, many of which I had forgotten receiving. But none come close to that short, unfinished draft, jotted down by my mother.
I also found letters with poems written by children with photographs sent by their teachers and administrators, some of which I had written acknowledgements, unfortunately, were unsent. They were in envelopes, waiting for a stamp. Please forgive me!!
Today, I leave an unfinished love note to all of you. I hope, whenever I transition, you find the love note and whatever else time will allow me to add to it. Please remember that I am the composite of a loving family (and extended family), unbelievable friends, caring educators, a rich culture, and an awesome God. You have made me whatever I am now, and whatever else I’m allowed to become. Thank you for loving me, sometimes in spite of my missteps, which you often recognized as coming from my best intentions. I have to also thank the one or two of you who may not have acted with the best motives toward me, but who God used to build a better me.
I have heard it said that we need to “love out loud.” So, this is my shout out!!! I don’t expect this to be the last time. Whenever that last time is, though, know that the collective you, with God’s blessings, have given me the best most astounding life. That I do know!! Perhaps the silver lining for you will not be the de-cluttering, reorganizing, or even the reflection…but rather taking this time to recognize all of the gifts you’ve been given. All of the people in your life who loved you into becoming you, and of course…being thankful for what Mary Mary proclaims as “the God in you!”
Love and realness,