Saturday, April 15, 2006
Words from the heart
I think I'm going to sit down at the hotel desk while I'm in Mid-Size Midwest City this coming week and write Mr. OmegaMom a letter or two. What brought this on? This heartfelt wish from a widower that he and his wife had exchanged letters, so that he could have, as he says, "a letter from her, in her bold, beautiful script, to read and reread." He has photos, he has videos, he has recordings...snapshots and vignettes of a long life shared. But what he wishes he had, in retrospect, are her thoughts, something tangible, direct from her to him. Mr. OmegaMom is a wonderful letter writer. He has always sent me letters when we are apart--some funny, some serious, some just quick notes to say, "I love you! I miss you!" Our first summer apart, when I was back in my little cottage in California and he was living in a 20-foot trailer in Lubbock and subsisting on ramen and tuna on a graduate assistant's pittance, he sent me a series of funny postcards, pictures of animals in odd situations or positions, each with a quick sketch in words of what he was doing, or thinking, or feeling. Every few days I would come home, open the mailbox, and discover yet another amusing tidbit of living on the Llano Estacado, and a verbal hug to envelop me in his love. I became addicted to that moment, and found myself waiting expectantly each day to see what the postman would bring. If there was a drought of letters, nothing in the mailbox for days on end, during one of our endless phone calls I would meekly request a fix. I was never very good about reciprocating, which is odd as I have always been a writer. So, while I have a box filled to bursting with his letters and postcards and pictures sent to me, he doesn't have much. Shaw's essay about wishing he had something tangible to hold onto now that his wife is gone inspires me to see if I can't do more.