Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

A) I'll get back in the habit now. (No cheap nun jokes please.)

B) The single greatest internet time waster I've ever seen. (Until the next one.)

C) Movie recommendation: If you haven't seen it, see The Bucket List. I cried like a sap at the end, but it's a beautiful story. Freeman and Nicholson are awe-inspiring.

D) One past post will eventually have a sequel. Check this out first. It's ok. I'll wait. (You only need to read the part about The Home on Gorham Street and some of the comments)

OK. Now, out of the blue, I get an e-mail from a woman I've known since high school. We hadn't been in touch for nearly 20 years and hadn't seen one another for closer to 30. But we remember one another fondly.

Her aunt is down-sizing and has found letters my father wrote to her when they were young. 60 years ago. Would I like to have them?

Letters in my father's hand? The father who killed himself when I was two? The father I've spent a lifetime scrounging up stories about, to stand in for the memories his suicide denied me?

I am thoroughly convinced that the time I am closest to understanding my father is when my depression is at a low trough. Once I get through it, I thank G-d for modern medicine, an able psychiatrist, the love of family and for chocolate.

But while I'm in its grasp, I can almost understand why he thought my Mom and I were better off without him. It feels like I'm never going to get better. I'll always be miserable and needy and cranky. I'll always need support and never be able to give support.

Then things improve, and I'm left with, among other things, more sympathy for --- and less anger at --- my father.

And I want to know him better.

So, yes, I'd very much like to have those letters.

My friend was pleased and I gather her aunt was pleased too. I've thanked them both and now have the letters, along with a campaign card from my father's run for student president of Franklin High, a couple of pictures of him in his youth and the program from a New Year's event. It's sort of a time capsule from the mid 1940's.

The accompanying letter from Mrs. ______ indicates that my father and she were close. I've browsed through the letters themselves, but not very much. There are a lot of then, in ink and written on both sides of the note paper, and in a scrawl that's only marginally better than my own. They're not all in order, nor are they all dated. Some cover very emotional subject matter. Mrs. _____ wrote that she'd only re-read a few and that it was hard.

RFB is urging that I approach all of this slowly, if at all.

Wise counsel, no doubt.

But I'm guessing you'll eventually hear more about this.

E) Special thanks to Laura B. , Churlita, Mrs. Hairy Woman and Stephen for helping to encourage me to get back to blogging.


mielikki said...

Happy New Year. Glad to see you back.
Hope your father's letters will shed some light for you.
Chocolate is good.

dmarks said...

Welcome back! I have a bunch of letters like that, but the handwriting is not easy. Some day I need to read them all.

laura b. said...

How wonderful to 'see' you! What an amazing gift to have all of those letters written by your father. While it can be vitually impossible to understand other people, there is always something to be gained by trying.
Thanks for being here.

Tara said...

Welcome back! I hope you start blogging again and that you had an awesome New Year!