Have you ever received something you didn’t know just what to do with it? That happened this last week. One of our cousins found a letter from my mother written to my father. The date of the letter was November 1, 1965.
My cousin was going through some of her father’s things and found this letter addressed to my dad and sent to my uncle’s address. There were times my dad would work out of town, being gone all week. I believe he was working near my uncle and stayed with him on this trip. My cousin read the letter and contacted my sister in regards as to what to do about it. Sis asked my cousin to mail it to her address. She then called my brother and me on conference call to tell us about the letter. At this point, none of knew what was in the letter other than my cousin said she could feel my mother’s pain as the letter was read.
As I have written before, my parents marriage was not the best. Knowing the date of the letter we knew what the subject must of been about. Speculation began, nervousness was on the rise, and the unknown things of our parents private lives was not wanting to be exposed or disrespected. This was a private communique that was not meant for our eyes or anyone else. But by looking for something else, it was discovered by accident. So what do we do with it now that we know about it?
Memories were, once again, brought to the forefront. Questions were asked about how this new correspondence would effect our view of our parents. After all, my father died 59 years ago when I was only 18 and Mom died 20 years ago, So, within our hearts, we pretty well knew our thoughts and feelings about our parents. I think our fear may have been this letter would have challenged those thoughts and feelings. Should that boat be rocked after all this time?
As one who does not believe in coincidence, but does believe that God has a plan and purpose for our lives, I had to ask myself what is the purpose of this letter and what am I to learn from it?
Yesterday, Sis received the letter. She orchestrated another conference call and then opened the letter and read it to us. I will not expose the contents of the letter, but it was on the subject we guessed it to be.
At the conclusion of the reading, I thought we were of the same opinion and that is, while mom was deeply hurt, she was able to blend into the letter thoughts of love for my dad that surprised us. It showed us a side that we may have never seen or recognized before. We saw a love and caring on a one on one bases that is hidden in times of arguments or times of separation. To me, it was a confirmation that they did love one another and were willing to fight to keep that love.
Of course, we have no record of whether or not, dad returned a reply or what he may have said to mom, but we do know of what happen not long afterward. When school was out the next spring, my parents bought a house with one and a half lots in Grand Coulee, WA. The house was down the street from my aunts home. It was on the side of a hill with the street level nearly at the front door header height. The back of the house was built up with a stair leading down to the alley. The home had been abandoned and used as a gathering spot for drinking beer. My dad and I loaded a Ford truck and drove to Washington. After we got there, we began cleaning out the house, then gutting the interior and started remodeling. By the end of summer, my mom and sister drove up and we moved into our home on Dill Ave.
What have I learned through this letter? Perhaps it is that we can have a perspective on a subject and may not really know the facts. Perhaps that I should not be surprised that God will sometimes bring something from the past to help us for today or for tomorrow. Perhaps it showed me how strong my mother was, even in a crisis, and that I might have a little of that DNA in me.
Mom would have been 42 years old at that time. I wonder, as I think about when I was 42, how I would have reacted. Dad would have been about 46. How did this letter effect him? Dad passed away, just five years later. He was almost 53. Those last five years were very hard on my parents. They didn’t seem to know how to start over again.
I jokingly said today that I think somewhere in the Bible, in referring to others,it says, “Give ’em some slack!” There may not be a chapter and verse for it, but I think the sentiment is there. I would hope that we would consider not being too hard on others. The Bible is clear that the Lord is the one to determine what is good and what is not. What thoughts are in our hearts and what our motives are. He doesn’t need me to help Him with that task.
I needed to sort this out in my mind and writing helps me do that. I hope we all can learn from this old letter.