This morning’s theme song is insisting on being Letter Never Sent by R.E.M. It’s not a bad song in fact it’s one of my favorites. It’s just I knew immediately why it popped in my head this morning. I am feeling guilty. On my desk is a letter, or more appropriately a card, never sent. It’s a sympathy card that like most cards I purchase, I fully meant to send but then my ferret brain takes over and suddenly a week later I realize I haven’t and it feels all kinds of inappropriate in mailing it now. It’s not like I didn’t want to send it, my heart broke so completely over the subject of the card’s passing. It’s just that now will I just be reopening wounds, will I seem even more insensitive sending it late than not at all?
There are so many letters and notes I wish I had sent but didn’t. I wish I had kept up correspondence with my maternal grandmother while she was alive, maybe then I would’ve recognized the dementia earlier, although in reality it still probably wouldn’t have stopped the cancer. Letters to the woman I adore with all my heart and consider my second mother, but I know I get so much more from her correspondence than she does from mine so I feel selfish in starting the conversation. I email at least two people every morning and every night, one person I try to email a few times a week but usually only succeed in doing it maybe once. It used to be at least three people but… well as much as I don’t want it to, there is a small part of me that still hurts about that. And there are probably ten more people who I wish I could do the same thing with but not sure what I would say to them, what would they really want to know? Okay that started another song in my head, Good Advices, also by R.E.M. “who are you going to call for, what do you have to say…”
My mother got the letter writing bug last year and started occasionally putting notes in with her weekly coupon mailings to me. I’ve kept every one. Some of it was the same things we talked on the phone about but it somehow was much funnier in writing. Maybe cause we weren’t talking over each other trying to condense a week’s worth of experiences into an hour phone call. Now she’s got it into her head that she wants to get online. I’ve delayed it so far by telling her she needs to take a library course first then try it on their computers. It’s funny how now I feel so protective of her, like she did with me all those years ago. But once she gets on I know she’ll become addicted. I guess I’ll have to add her my daily good morning emails as well.
So I still don’t know what I’m going to do about the sympathy card, maybe I’ll just get a blank card and send an apology for not being there like I so wanted to be. Maybe I’ll pick up one for my second mother as well; if only I could make it half as special looking as the ones she sends me. There are many letters I need to write, those to reach out, to reconnect, to tell someone all the things I feel inside, but they are not ready to hear yet, although I’m sure they already know. I wish I had sent my dad a letter to tell him how much I loved his writing and a half a dozen other words never spoken through our mostly silent phone conversations.
I don’t know what’s missing, I guess just guts. Because I have tons of stamps, paper, and pens. There are a thousand letters in my head, rustling, waiting, but never sent.