Losing Nita has been a huge loss, and I wish I could’ve hugged her tightly for the awesome gift she had waiting for me when I got to her son’s place before her funeral. It was a pile of letters from friends and family, dating back to 1988-1990. One of them was a letter from her which made me cry with a muddled mix of emotions. It was mind blowing!!
To add to that were two letters from another good friend from high school, whose funeral I went to a few years ago. I could hear his voice, so they read exactly as he would’ve spoken the words which I just loved. He was a funny bugger and he still makes me laugh.
The other letters from friends took me back to those teenage years, and brought back so many good memories. A couple of friends I’d lost contact with many years ago, but I loved the blast from the past. I was such a social butterfly back then!
What was bizarre was reading the letters and postcards from my parents from when I was a troubled teen, not living at home and at odds with them. I still haven’t settled that it seems, and having a 16 year old daughter now myself, made me compare a lot of things I guess, but I won’t unpack that now. There were other memories about our dogs and horses though that were great to talk over with the family. There was even one of Dad’s old business cards in there which brought Dad back his own memories from days long gone which was pretty cool.
I’m a sentimental person and reading these letters was just the most amazing experience. I can’t believe she loved me enough to hang onto to them for all these years! It was like a final gesture of love and recognition of our bond, and I really felt it, and still do. And strangely, Nita’s letter has helped me with accepting she’s gone. Apart from it feeling like a connection to her, I can’t really explain why. Maybe it’s nothing more than having her words to read that vividly bring back her voice and warmth?
It’s such a shame that writing letters is no longer the usual way we communicate. For me they are special treasures that retell snippets of our lives, and I hope one day my daughter will be interested to see some of my life from when I was a teen – way before I was ‘Mum’! It took time to write, get a stamp and post a letter, so if you got one, your friend cared about you.
So Nita’s gift is one that will be hard to beat, and one that I’ll take as good care of as she has for the last 20 odd years ❤