Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dear Daughter

Caveat: Not every letter will be about the basement boxes, but I did find some gems in there which I plan to use somewhere in the challenge.

Like when the hard letters roll around...Q, X, S.

Yes S is hard. In my experience the letters with not enough words are a problem, but so are those with too many choices. Like S. Anyway, today is D and it's back to the basement boxes I go.

D is for Dear Daughter

My dad was always Dad. I don't remember calling him Daddy, but maybe when I was very small? He was just Dad. Or sometimes Gordy when we kids wanted to tease and were feeling brave. My younger sister had a book called Gordon the Goat, which we thought was hilarious. I guess my dad did too.

He passed away some 21 years ago which sounds like a lifetime. It many ways it was because my girls were small. He loved those little girls so much. He would love them still, would be so proud I know. There is comfort in the knowing. 

My dad was a Marine. He retired from the Marine Corps after a long career and went on to work for a large University, but in my mind, and I think my siblings would all agree, he was always a Marine. He was the strong silent type, not a big talker or overly effusive with his emotions, yet I do believe we all felt loved.  

In last week's basement purge I came across a whole box of correspondence, mostly from my college years. You cannot imagine how this distracted me from the task at hand. I finally put them all into another box and carried it upstairs to read later. There were letters from my sisters which I'll definitely revisit somewhere in the alphabet, letters from my then boyfriend, the one you all know as 'the hubs', there were letters from girlfriends, and church friends, and even some from campers who lived in my cabin during those long ago summers I spent on the Bay. 

And in the middle of it all was a letter from my dad. A letter he wrote me my first semester of college, which was actually a quarter because universities favored the quarter system back then. As soon as I saw the front of the card I remembered it. I wonder now if he chose it himself, or if this was a card my mom had in the house. The Holmes quote across the front makes me think it was chosen, but I can't say for sure.  I do remember how surprised I was to find a card from my dad in my university P.O. box. 

He wasn't a man given to talking at great length about his feelings, and this card was full of feelings. Written in his still familiar chicken scratch across both sides and the back too, were all the things I think he wanted to be sure I knew he felt about me. Perhaps these words mean more because he wasn't a man who very often or very easily articulated what he was feeling. That's not a criticism, it was just a different time. He was from a generation that took life as it came, and got on with things. I don't know what prompted the note, but he was about the age I am now when he sent it.

Change is something we experience all throughout our lives, but maybe it's in this middle season we have the time to step back and examine it's effect. Maybe I went off to college many states away, and he noticed the family shift, felt the change in an unexpected way. Maybe he thought about it, and needed to write.

Same as me.  


  1. What an absolute treasure!
    I am one to keep personal correspondence like that, as was my Mother. I enjoyed reading through her boxes when she passed away.
    Happy Easter Joyce.

  2. How wonderful that you found your box full of treasures, and especially this one, from your dad. It's sad that so many people have stopped sending 'snail mail' in their own handwriting. I'm guilty, too. Treasures like these are becoming a thing of the past. Tweets and Facebook have changed how we communicate. Blogger is better, but that handwritten letter, expressing love and more....priceless.

  3. I think you are right about the middle season, we do step back to reflect and examine.

  4. Another wonderful sentimental post. This A-Z challenge is bringing out the best in you. Love all your entries. Have a great Easter.

  5. I can get so bogged down when I start going through boxes such as this and it's so much fun but so time consuming. I still have so, so many treasures that I've never gone through but hopefully I will in the not so distant future. Another great post!

  6. That's lovely :-) My father was not particularly expressive when it came to communicating his affections, but we always knew he loved us. What a precious treasure you found.

  7. I have letters, real letter from my dad who passed away in 1963. I treasure them. All those tweets, texts, that are used today subtract from real letter writing, and I think this generation is sadder for it. How will they remember their friends and parents?

  8. What a wonderful thing to find!

    (I came via the A to Z Challenge - can't wait to read more!)

  9. So beautifully put. Yes, whenever we have these major transitions, that is when we seem to reflect more...and part of it is that it prompts us to go through our belongings and decide what we want to get rid of and what we want to take with us on the next part of our journey. I'm glad I read this...we just bought a house and are preparing to start going through things to get rid of some things before it's time to start packing!

  10. What a treasure to find, especially, so many years after your dad's death!

    Kathy (from Reflections by Kathy)