The Letter

Writing 101: Day Five
You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.
Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

[Author’s note: I was excited to post the link on writing 101 that I forgot to publish it. Duh!  Apologies to readers who clicked and went nowhere]

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I would have never found the letter if I had been in shape and didn’t have to stop for a rest, halfway up the hill. It had been there for some time, because it was pressed into the dirt and exposed to the elements.
Did I dare open and read it? Although torn and battered, the envelope had not been opened or torn.

I hurried home to investigate further. I used a soft make-up brush and gently swept the envelope free of surface dirt. I had a magnifying glass in my office, which I needed to make out the faded writing.

Sophia Miller
183 Northward Way
Gilroy, Illinois   61876

The faded postmark was the hardest to read, but it looked like it originated in New York, and I was 99% sure the date was September 10, 2001. A chill shot up my spine when I realized the letter had probably been in New York the day Al Qaeda destroyed the twin towers.

Did Sophia have family in New York? A boyfriend? Husband? Child?  It was making me anxious. I needed to know who wrote her this letter!

Instead of opening Sophie’s letter, I booted up my laptop and searched the white pages for Gilroy, IL. No Sophia to be found, however there was an S. Miller in Gilroy, and I would bet money it was Sophia.

I dialed the phone number listed, and a young woman answered with “Hello?”

“Hi, I’m calling for Sophia Miller.”

“I’m Sophia” she replied. I could tell by her voice she was suspecting I had something to sell, or wanting her to give to a cause.

“My name is Cari, and I just found an old letter addressed to you, postmarked in New York”

“Where are you located?” she asked me.

“Northern California.”

“Wow” she said, then silence.  “Who is it from?” she finally asked.

“There is no return address.” I said, hoping she would ask me to open the letter for her.

But she didn’t. The next day I mailed off a larger envelope to Sophia with the old letter enclosed.


Loss Squared

Writing 101: Day Four
Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. The twist- make it a 3-part series…

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I lost the last person in my immediate family, my little sister, in May of 2012. We lost our mother in 2011, sis and I spent the last year of mom’s life living in her house, taking care of her.  That year had heartbreak, good-times and a bonding I never thought would happen between me and little sis.

Oh sure, she still could drive me nuts, but we shared a love for yarn and we knitted and crocheted like fiends, between nursing mom.  We leaned on (and vented our frustration to) each other, both before and after mom’s death. So many details needing to be taken care of, Despite mom’s wish to not have any kind of service or memorial, she had set up a ‘Trust’ for us and her lawyer guided us through the mountains of paperwork. My father had made that very same wish known to us before he died. I hated not having closure. No relatives flying in and hugging us. No day to honor them. No day to mourn.

In the months before mom got deathly sick, she informed sis and I that she didn’t want to be tossed at sea, after all, but rather scattered close to her daughters and granddaughter, who lived in small communities in the Sierra foothills.

Mom is very close to me, but not scattered around our new house. She is still in a sturdy gift bag, that sis had from a Casino mom loved to play in. Three Mother’s Day’s have passed, and Mom still sits in my office, on a bookshelf.

I can almost hear her nagging about me procrastinating. “Just like your father!” she would add. Sorry, mom! I must be having some letting go issues, because I lost my dog over 4 years ago and she also sits on a bookshelf in my office.  Sis is not here – she is with her fiance in Colorado, were she would have wanted to be.

Sis was finely able to break away from mom…  Stay tuned…

Songs Touching My Soul

Writing 101: Day Three – Commit to a writing practice
Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping — and build a writing habit.

Someone Saved my Life Tonight – Elton John
This song immediately takes me back to my cousin’s basement in Missouri where the summer nights were muggy and I spent too much time, while my BFF was working or on dates, being lovelorn and brooding. Well, I was a teenager back then, so melancholy was my middle name. I wanted someone to save me – from myself. I was lonely and incomplete, more than not, those days. Where was Tom Cruise when I needed him?

Breathe (2am) Anna Nalick
Her lyrics, “in my diary out loud” reminds me of blogging. We put ourselves out there, for better or worse. Our readers will take what they want from it, if anything. And we can’t go back to fix things, we must move forward or be stuck. Her chorus with “Just Breathe…” helps me to unwind and let go of my ‘baggage’. Live in the present. How much of live have I already missed because I wasn’t living in the present?

When I’m Back on My Feet Again – Michael Bolton
This song, from the first time I heard it, to today, makes me cry. I don’t know what Michael Bolton meant when he sang it, but to me the song portrays a person fighting addiction and wanting to live life happily instead of being under a burden of guilt and shame.

“Feel the sweet light of heaven, shinning down on me” speaks of no longer having to hide in the darkness, covering up lies and secrets. “Some sweet day, some sweet day, I will feel it” is the hope and determination to win this fight, and wrestle his soul back from addictions grip.

And that day, my friend, is sweet indeed 🙂

I’d love to hear what YOU, dear reader, feel when you hear these songs!