My mother remains one of the most interesting persons in my life. Ever. In some ways, I knew her better than she knew herself.
Perfectionism made her an excellent legal secretary, a lucid writer and a precision communicator. Even when she had had too much to drink, she got her message across.
These letters from Mom are a treasure. The earliest dated letter in my possession comes from October 31, 1970, my first year in college.
I remind people, “You don’t write to the people you live with.”
There were a couple of years before I graduated from high school that I didn’t live with my mom. Those letters got lost in the moves. Sigh.
Mom was a gypsy. I wanted to stay put. And I needed to escape.
Better than the few possessions I inherited from my mom, including an IBM electric typewriter that she prized, reading these letters is like diving for pearls hidden in oysters. Or panning for gold. Only it’s more likely that I will open “a howler” (see Harry Potter).
Many of her letters contain rants aimed either at me or someone else.
Still, Mom had insight and honesty, intelligence, sensitivity and courage that I admire now as I never could have when her laser beam fell on me.
A Time to Keep and A Time to Share
From my world to yours, I mine these letters searching for her words that transcend the time, place and meaning she had in mind when she wrote. Or else relate to you some of the hard-won truths that my mom experienced and wrote about.
There’s a story arc in here somewhere.
Pieced together like a patchwork quilt, these few pages pay tribute to my mom and I hope they will warm your heart, Tender Readers.
Her story still makes me cry.