P.S.: I’M THINKING of YOU
Friendship is a living thing that lasts only as it is nourished with kindness, sympathy, and understanding.
Mary Lou Retton
You’ve been on my mind lately and I’ve been meaning to do something about it. I keep telling myself I’m going to pick up the phone and call…and then I forget. It’s always a time issue. When I’m free to dial your number it’s either too late, or too early, or there’s some other complication which gets in the way…so it’s not convenient.
I’m tempted to shoot you an email, but I want to hear your voice and an email message won’t give me the satisfaction via that medium. Oh yes, I know, we could Skype, or use Facetime. It’s all very nice, yes it is. After mulling over possibilities, I’ve decided to write a letter. I’ve been thinking about what I’d say…At times I have everything all worked out in my head…of course circumstances aren’t what I need them to be when the content of the letter is floating around in my head and heart. I’ve got the opening sentence worked out…The letter goes something like this…
How are you? I know this letter comes as a surprise…I kinda shocked myself, you know, me writing a letter and everything. I’ve been thinking about you, though, a lot, to be honest, and I decided to do myself a favor and put my thoughts on paper.
How are you today? I was thinking about asking about the weather there where you are, but I changed my mind. It’s really okay, you know, whatever the weather is, I mean. Because if you’re able to see it, to feel it, to experience it, then no matter how you think you’re doing, you’re really doing good. You’re alive!!!
Oh, my gosh! I have so much I want to share with you and I don’t know where to begin. I thought about picking up the phone to call but every time I remember, well, I look at the clock and I think, ‘it’s too early, or it’s too late,’ that kind of thing, you know? It’s silly, really, because just hearing your voice would make my day.
So why am I writing? Because I’m giving you a piece of my heart. A phone call is cool, yeah…provided we don’t get interrupted, the timing isn’t bad, neither one of us has something else we must get on with. See, I know what you’ll do with this letter. I can see your smile as you come across it in the mail. First of all, you weren’t expecting to hear from me. Second, this letter is personal!!!
Everything else – well, almost everything else – will have to wait because you’re gonna get comfy – settle into your favorite chair and take your time opening the envelope. Since I tend to doodle, you’re gonna study my artistic efforts and you’ll get a good laugh out of it, too, ‘cause I can’t draw. You know what’s funny? I only doodle when I can’t be creatively engaged – oh, by the way, this is my latest phrase. I prefer these two words to busy or productive.
I doodle when I’m on hold on the phone. I’m no fan of elevator music, and long silences are intimidating – they shouldn’t be but they are…anyway I doodle while I wait: it gives me something to do. Oh yes, I also doodle on envelopes – I can’t help myself. For me it’s kind of like adding to the excitement of receiving a personal letter. You know I’m using a postage stamp with a theme: something which speaks to our relationship. I love connecting dots this way, and I’ve found there are so many ways in which I can express myself in writing. When you finally open the envelope you’ll pull out the letter – you know it won’t be short. I don’t even write brief thank you notes! Ha!Ha!Ha!
I am writing this letter because I want to tell you how much I love you. I want to let you know how much I value our friendship, our relationship, and how much you mean to me. You know me well enough to understand I’d never reveal my feelings so explicitly in a telephone call. But in this letter, my heart, my soul, and my consciousness do the talking. Through this letter we, you and I, can connect where our souls are in harmony. This place isn’t accessible by telephone, text, email, Twitter, Instagram, Instant Messenger, Facebook, or any other social media platform. It was never meant to be a public display of affection for others to comment on.
I miss you! Oh yes, I do! I miss you so much. I always enjoy our time together and it doesn’t matter what we’re doing. I’m writing this letter to you because it allows me to think about you, remember you, savor our souls’ connection, and I feel closer to you as memories take over. Can you imagine a phone call like this letter? I can’t. No, really, I can’t. Not even if it was a conversation between lovers. Of course if we were on the phone you’d say stuff to make me laugh – you always do. We’d be cracking up about something, laughing loud and long. Yeah, I miss you!!!
And we’d do the family thing – go down the list of loved ones and get caught up. This is good, too. It’s always a relief to know everybody is doing well and our families are growing even as members transition. Our children are getting older, okay? They are…trust me…we’re getting better!!!
My letter, however, won’t necessarily dwell on family. I’ve been thinking about you and I want you to know. I want to know what you’ve been doing and how you’re feeling? And I really want to know…don’t sugarcoat it. How was your last trip? What about that exercise class you were so excited about? Are you still attending? And the new great-grandbaby, how is she? Hard to believe, isn’t it? Time flies, regardless, I always say.
And how am I doing? I’m doing well…living with an attitude of gratitude for life, health, and the gifts of the Creator. I’m trying to go with the flow, as best I can, of course. Oh, I know you want to know if I’m still writing stories. And I’m so glad you like the stuff I write. Occasionally someone will give me feedback. The answer is yes I am. I’m working on my next literary offering, a novel, and you KNOW you’re gonna hear about it. I’m gonna make sure of it. I work on it as often as I can as there always seems to be other demands on my time.
I’d love to be able to work exclusively on it…to be in the position to do that…And I believe the time is coming. I mean, this is my passion, you know? Meanwhile, I write a lot of other things, including personal letters. You know my philosophy about letter writing. I don’t do it nearly as often as I did years ago and I need to quit dwelling on this…years ago we didn’t have the Internet, electronic devices, or social media.
Life is good, even when it doesn’t feel good. I’m learning, I’m growing, hopefully in wisdom, definitely in age. I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got, and having a ball, and I’m being the best I can be…trying mightily to live as rich a life as I can. I believe you’d be pleased. And having you in my life is part of the abundance I treasure. I’m still one of the best sinners you’ll ever meet and I work steadfastly to maintain this status. Yeah, I know, you’re hooting now, but you know me…
Oh yes, a friend did a play based on the title story of my book. For real!!! And it was quite successful. I’ve enclosed a copy of the program. I had no idea how it would turn out but I made a conscious decision not to be afraid. It was wonderfully done – and it was done at Bennett, with Bennett students in key roles. My little sisters nailed their parts, yes they did!!! Of course the success of this play has turned my life upside down, no joke. I’ll have a whole lot more to say about it in another letter.
I’m working out five days a week, too, finally figured out how to do it and make it pay off. I get up early, too, around 4:30 most mornings. I feel ya – the hour is absolutely obscene, I agree. But what I’ve discovered is that if I don’t go in early, I won’t go in. The nice thing about going in early is that I get in, work out, and get out. Everyone else who’s there is doing the same thing – I’m not hanging out. I do yoga, too. Oh yeah, I’m doing yoga!!! Can you believe it? I haven’t mastered downward facing dog yet – it’s coming and I’m not the least bit bothered. I can do a balancing half-moon and my warrior one and two poses aren’t too shabby, either. My class meets at 5:45 in the morning, so you know we’re serious. I’m still committed to dying of old age in my sleep, so I gotta keep this regimen going.
I don’t watch much television any more. I am probably part of a true minority in this respect. I have a TV night – for real – when I have time…I record the programs I like, and then spend a few hours watching them, so obviously I’m way behind on my programming, which is okay. I would rather spend my time writing.
Have you read any good books lately? I love the way we share titles – and I miss getting good recommendations from you. You know I’m always in the market for something entertaining, meaty, deep…I still enjoy a good mystery, and I love biography, history, and politics. I’m way behind on my reading, for pleasure anyway. Since this is a general election year, I am following the primaries…and getting pissed off over the stuff I read. The clown car has turned into a horror movie…what can I say? The media continues to treat its listening audiences as if we’re incapable of making informed decisions, yet what do they offer? Precious little. Perhaps I should rephrase – they’re peddling their brand of garbage, all dressed up, of course, and we’re supposed to buy it as it. The Donald has given them a new lease on life, and they gleefully veer from histrionic handwringing to unctuous predictions. It’s all pitiful…
You’re deep into this letter now. We wouldn’t necessarily still be on the phone at this point. I can hear you chuckling about my take on politics. I decided to write rather than call because you can keep this communique and re-read it whenever you choose. This is the beauty of a personal letter. I keep mine. There are times when re-reading a card or letter does my heart good. I can tell you openly, honestly, and without hesitation how much you mean to me in a letter. And this communication is just between us. I’m so grateful to have you in my life. I believe writing you a letter to say so is worth the time and effort. Well, it’s time to say bye for now. I’ll write again. I love you!!!