Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letter Writing Challenge

Dear Mom,

I presented a challenge to those reading this blog—and today is the first day. I’ve made a list of all the people I’m going to write. My challenge is to write people that I don’t normally write to since I do write to a lot of people on a relatively regular basis.

Since I’m an introvert writing letters is a way for me to share without feeling awkward or self-conscious about anything. I remember after you died, too scared to talk to Dad (when it came to important stuff, like getting my ears pierced) I’d write him a letter.

I found a letter that I wrote to Dad telling him how sorry I was that some boys were over at the house. They didn’t come inside, but still… there was no supervision and I'm pretty sure the rule was not to have anyone over. I got “caught” by a neighbor. I didn’t do anything wrong, however, the shame of it all caused me to tell Dad that I’d leave if he didn’t want me around. I was 12 or 13. I begged him to trust me and love me and not to be mad. I was surprised to see Dad’s handwriting on a letter enclosed with my pleading. Here it is:

I still feared talking to Dad. I still wrote him letters. It also made me wonder why I felt he never really loved me and that perhaps my perception of what he felt was wrong... all these years.

I’d write my friends in grade school even though I saw them every day. I still have those letters. Stamps were six cents! I have a letter from your son-in-law (my brother-in-law) who wasn't at the time (he was dating Sue then) and they’ve been married for close to 40 years—egads).

I snagged my current husband because of a letter—too chicken to ask him out, I wrote him a letter. I figured this way he could have time to think of something good to say when “no thanks” would be his answer. It was sheer agony waiting for a response. I still write him letters.

I’m a letter writer through and through, so this isn’t a real challenge for me. But one I dearly love. If you can't handle writing a letter every day, what about just one? Who would you write to?


  1. This is so beautiful, Lynn. Beautiful, bittersweet, very telling. Even though I know how much you enjoy writing and receiving letters, I had no idea of the extent!..or that you still have letters from so long ago. (And I can relate so much to your feelings and fears of a 12 year old girl, and doubting the love of a father.)

  2. Very beautiful post! And I have my first letter ready to put in the mailbox this morning! I am excited about writing to some of my blog friends that are taking part! Becky, of course got me on board! Her enthusiasm is infectious! Enjoy your day! ♥♥♥

  3. Thanks Becky--yeah, love writing letters...
    Lavender Dreamer - not sure if I am to say your real name, but thank you and I put three letters in the mailbox this morning! I just couldn't help myself. Oh, and thanks for joining my blog - you're #60 whoo-hoo, didn't think I'd ever get that many!

  4. Dads are hard to talk to for many of us. Mine never told me he loved me until he was dying. He would snap at towel at my behind or socko my was "I love you". I am glad you could write your dad...

    Would love to hear in my letter or here sometime how you came to meet Geoffery! I was glad to meet him in Joplin and still hear his voice, soft as a downy cushion, in my ear!

  5. I think that I had better write to you, you sweetie. Lynn, that is the coolest letter; your Dad loved you very much and he must have shook his head wondering why you were afraid to tell him stuff, or at least worried about it. You have such a built in "being a good person" thing that I'm sure he knew you wouldn't do anything really bad. Hugs!

    Kathy M.

  6. Oh, man. You got me all weepy. Your Dad's love for you is in every letter, every swoop of the pen.

    I have one letter from my dad. After Joe and I moved from Nevada to Georgia I wrote letters home all the time (mid-80s, no home computer). My mom would write back, but not my dad. So I wrote to him and included a self-addressed stamped envelope for him. He got the hint and wrote me a nice long letter. I will treasure it always.

    If I could write to anyone and know they would be able to read it I would write to my parents. My daddy died in 1999 and my mama in 2001. I miss them like mad every day.

  7. Bookie, I'll be happy to share with you my meeting Geoffrey and how we became friends. You'll get a letter soon!
    Kathy, you're way too kind.
    Lisa, I'm sorry you miss your parents and I say, write them anyway!

  8. Awww, such a sweet post, Lynn! I used to write loads of letters. Now, not so much. Email has become my standard written correspondance. However, I did recently write a boatload of thank-you notes to friends. Do they count?

    Critter Alley

  9. Oh man! That scanned letter is so awesome! Its amazing you managed to keep it all these years. So rad.

    Good luck with the challenge! I put my first letter in the mail today!

  10. Pat - of course handwritten thank you's count! If you email me your address, I'll send you a letter!
    Casey - thought you'd get a kick out of your grandpa's note (wouldn't exactly call that a "letter" but it's better than nothing!) Did I already brag that I mailed out three letters today? he he he.

  11. You brought tears to my eyes with your letter to your dad and his response. I remember my grandfather being especially mean to my mom (his daughter) and I wrote him a letter setting him straight. Wisely, my grandmother never gave it to him. :)

    I used to write movie stars telling them how much I liked them. They'd send me autographed pictures. I had them all in a scrap book. When I was married to my ex, I threw the whole book away during a desolate, what's the point moment. I've regretted it so many times.

    You've reminded me how much I used to love writing letters. :) I didn't get one in the mail today--but I'll get two in the mail tomorrow. Promise!

  12. Awww Jess, that was a sweet comment telling of your letter writing. Sorry about your lost autographed photos. I've done something similar... thrown away one particular journal from long ago that I wish I still had. It's never too late to mail a letter!

  13. 'Morning, Lynn! Believe it or not, I wrote two letters last night--they're ready to be mailed today. :) Talk about writer's cramp! Not used to this. Gonna invest in some Thinking of You and Encouragement cards--have to ease myself into this letter writing. I will admit it was fun...but a little sad to see how my handwriting has changed. :( Reminded me of when I first noticed my mom's pretty handwriting had changed.

  14. I loved reading grandpa's letter to you. What a treasure!

  15. Just finished a letter to an old friend replying to her letter and opened up your latest post.
    Great minds think alike I guess. Thanks for sharing.
    Miss you.

  16. Hi Victoria - knew you'd like reading grandpa's letter.
    Michelle - you'll be hearing from me girlfriend! Miss you too!

  17. Ooops and Morning to you Jess! I think my handwriting is different all the time... especially when I'm writing on lines versus "free" space. Or when I'm in a hurry or when I take my time.

  18. Oh Mom I don't know why but I cried reading that letter from Grandpa hahaha. How silly. He came to me in a dream the other night I wish I could remember the details but I remember him giving me this feeling of love, kindness, and happiness. He was so jolly in the dream. Funny that I just saw this post eh..

  19. Lynn,
    I LOVE this! How wonderful that you still have that letter to/from your dad. What a precious thing to have always. I'm a little weepy at this post. I met someone about 4 1/2 years ago. A dear friend, who actually wrote me letters. Not emails, but real letters on real paper in long hand. I saved every one of them and have them still. They are very precious to me. I wish I'd saved all the letters I've received over the years. I even threw out my diaries...all but one, in which I wrote my first short story. It's quite a trip. Thanks for reminding me of my own precious memories ; )

  20. Rita stinker, sorry I made you cry but I want to know about that dream!
    Beth, yes, letters are precious.


Thanks for commenting. I don't always comment back, but I do appreciate it.