Letter #31 6/2/21
Stories of A Lifetime Presents: “The Letters”
Community correspondence sparked from the isolating 2020 pandemic focused on easing the burden of loneliness.
Hello, my name is Holly. I am 41 years old and a single mom of a 10-year-old boy named Easton. His father passed away from cancer three years ago. I enjoy writing, I love history, and I like DIY home projects. I miss my grandma, and I know that if she were alive, she’d be so happy to receive a letter. It wouldn’t matter if the writing was profound or merely about what I ate for dinner, it would make her smile. So, my friend, I’d like to write some letters to you. It will help me feel useful and less lonely, and I hope the letters help you and that they spark you to reminisce about your own life, love, and good times.
June 2nd, 2021
“There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be!” -An Irish Toast
My friend, are you a ship builder? Have you ever built a house or a 3-tiered cake or a shoebox diorama? Or did you at some point build a family or assemble a group of friends? I’ve built Pinewood Derby cars with my son for Scouts. I’ve built gardens and transformed houses into homes. All of those things made of wood and earth and metal are special. As I was doing all that, little did I know the best “ship” I was building was a friendship. Just like a shipbuilder might admire the progress on his grand sailing vessel, I’ve recently admired the progress of a dear friendship that I’ve spent over a decade building.
Do you have a best friend (also known as a bestie or BFF- Best Friends Forever)? I hope you do. Some people get to marry their best friend, and that would be lovely! Some people know their best friend their whole lives. What about you? What type of special friendships have you had?
My bestie, Marie, was married about a month ago, and as I toasted her and her husband, it made me realize how she and I built the most beautiful friendship out of random pieces of life events, triumphs, and tragedies. I value our friendship more than I can say. We met through our husbands at the time. Marie and I started meeting up in our neighborhood to go for walks. Much of our conversations were about how much I wanted a baby and about Marie’s mom who had just passed. When I was finally pregnant, I wanted the baby’s room a pistachio color- and I even “needed” the inside of the closet painted to match. It was a hot summer day in a stuffy second story bedroom, and there was Marie sweating and painting the inside of that closet for me. The following years were riddled with heartaches, and even though there were now hundreds of miles between us we helped each other survive. When I was getting divorced, I needed something else on my calendar besides that looming court date. I suppose some people would ask their friends to take them out for drinks. I called Marie and asked her to run a half marathon with me. She didn’t hesitate. She drove 4 hours and ran when I could run and walked when I needed to walk. We laughed. We cried. We held hands across the finish line. And we ran 13.1 miles again the next year just to prove that there was life after love. She is so important to me, and she gives me the greatest gift- hope! Speaking of hope, my friend, some of my hostas grew back! I planted 28 hostas last year and all spring not a one popped up. Finally, 19 of them have sprouted. Whew. At least all that hard work wasn’t for nothing. Hope and hostas. Both are reasons to smile today.
If you’d like to write back to me, you are very welcome to.
I will get a PO Box soon and let you know what that is. For now, maybe someone could help you scan and email your letters back to me at Holly@StoriesofALifetimeLLC.com. Otherwise, maybe you’ll find it helpful to just journal your thoughts and write them down without sending them.
You do what is helpful to you, friend.
Are you a ship builder? Have you ever built a house or a 3-tiered cake or a shoebox diorama? Did you at some point build a family or assemble a group of friends? Do you have a best friend? What type of special friendships have you had?