The Letter

I have always been a caring person, but very shy and unable to express my feelings face to face. While I was away from home it had been easier to write and close with the usual “Love” before my signature. Those occasions when I came to visit presented a good chance to hug and say a quick “I love you,” hoping it wouldn’t be noticed.

The inability to express my feelings openly was an ongoing source of stress and guilt. I thought it was something I could overcome as I got older, but to my disappointment, the inability became greater with age. Someday it would be too late to say what was in my heart and the unspoken words would become a lifelong regret.

Then, it occurred to me that even though I wasn’t away, I could still put my feelings on paper. It was a solution that had worked in the past and could work now. These words were the summation of a lifetime, the unspoken feelings that had built up for so many years. Behind a dam of fear they lay as driftwood doing no one any good. At last, they could be said and my heart could finally find peace.

I wrote the following:

Mom,

I want you to know how much I miss my growing up years with all of us together. It was a comfortable and safe time that I thought would never end. Now that it’s gone, I only wish we could do it all over again. I miss all of you very much.

With All My Love,

Your Son

The words were sent that same day. My mother never acknowledged receiving the letter, at least not to me, for she, too, was unable to show her feelings openly. Mom passed away soon after that. Later, her housekeeper told me how much my mother had enjoyed reading my words; words that had finally made their way from my heart to hers. The letter had accomplished its purpose.

Copyright © 2010 LeRoy Dean All Rights Reserved

8 Comments

8 thoughts on “The Letter

  1. Arlene Britt

    Beautiful. I am enjoying reading your words. You are a wordsmith, indeed! Thank you for stopping by and liking “I Like Me.” It would appear that I like you and will be following you…you via your postings, of course:) Bless you!

  2. katia

    I lost my mom this past November.
    I iwsh I told her more in the last weeks of her suffering how much I loved her no matter what. I realized she wasn’t the perfect mom to me but agape love wins.
    This post is beautiful,
    grazie for sharing!

  3. I recently sent letters to my elderly parents, one in California and one in Spain, expressing things that I have trouble verbalizing. They both were silent about receiving their letters, but this encourages me that they just can’t say what they really feel. Thanks for all of your poignant posts.
    Thanks too for visiting and enjoying my blog.

  4. denisegabbard

    Family dynamics are an interesting thing–and they typically follow the path set by the parents. In our family, we hug often and still do not hang up when talking to our “children” (they are 26, 27, and 30) without telling them we love them. But, my brother-in-law’s family is quite the opposite– physical demonstrations of affection are uncommon and loving words rarely spoken. However, both families are loving, and all of the “kids” know how much they are loved–it just is unspoken. The lesson here is that just because someone does things differently does not make it wrong….my Mom used to use this phrase— Because someone is on a different path than yours does not mean they are lost.

  5. Hi, Leroy, I don’t think we’ve ever officially “met” here in blog-land, but I think we follow many of the same blogs.
    So today, I’m checking out your site. This is a powerful post. My family was (and still) is always very demonstrative with our affection: both verbally and physically, so it’s difficult to imagine someone not being able to comfortably say those words. I’m so glad you wrote this letter to your mom, and that someone was able to convey to you her feelings when she received it.
    Dianna

  6. I come from a family that assumes we are loved. The outward signs are all there, but the words are silent. I feel that is why I write deeper, concrete thoughts than what I speak. I am thankful for pen and paper, otherwise, nobody would know what is going on inside of me or how I really feel. Comparing the spoken word with the written word; once it is out there, you cannot take it back. Both are as important as the other.

  7. Wow. Powerful. I’m glad to have found your blog. I have just the opposite problem–talk way too much. I recently lost my Dad. Here’s what I shared: http://wp.me/s1lmv2-dale

Thank you for your thoughts.

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