A Find in the Attic

Letter Box

A FIND IN THE ATTIC

As I rummaged through boxes in my attic, as I do every spring, my goal each year is to clear out as much as possible. But somehow I end up keeping most of the things. It is always like a journey into my past and many of the things I keep there have sentimental value.

I came across a small cushioned wooden box. I was intrigued because I had forgotten what I had put inside the box. When I opened it I found my late nephew’s letters written to me so many years ago. I cried. I unfolded the first piece which did not have a date on it. I read; I cried and later on, I found the envelope folded away at the bottom of the box. The date stamped on it was March 19, 1974. I cried again. The letter was prophetic. As they say hind sight is always 20/20. I was pregnant with my first child at the time. So I must have been just as emotional when I read it the first time. I never would have imagined that the letters would be the last conversations we had with each other. Our letters were long conversations. It was too expensive to communicate by telephone and so we wrote to each other quite often. I miss letter writing. We talked about nature, music, politics, human suffering and the future. He was sensitive to what was happening around him as he was stationed in the army as a paramedic. He hated injustice and violence. He often wrote songs about it. He played the guitar without ever having taken a class in his life. He had a beautiful soul.

Although he was my nephew and logic dictates that I as his aunt would have been a lot older than he, I was just two years older. We were more like siblings. So, we shared many things and our favorite topic was poetry. He was very creative and loved to write poems too. In his letters he always included a short poem and in the closing of the letter he would write, ” I will keep writing them as long as you keep reading them.”  I hope he knows that I have never forgotten his poems.

I want to share a small snippet of what he wrote in this particular letter. Here it is:

“Your dreams are yours alone

and creative thoughts become

your energy and life are prolonged

through words spoken and unspoken

so dream on

and you will be eternal

in someone’s life.”

I will end this post with a Forrest Gumpism: “And that’s all I have to say about that.”

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