Letters From the Box


I pawed through the contents of my father’s lock box—the walls of steel that keep our birth certificates and social security cards and the like safe—short on patience thanks to the end of my first week at “real” work. 

The 9 to 5 thing. You know.

There I was, sitting in the hall of my upstairs, muttering choice phrases and letting a few curses (okay…more than a few) slip from my tongue as my search turned up nil. No passport? No trip to Ireland. That’s what it meant. And that made me want to toss this box and run to my attic and lock myself in, where the wails of my stressed out being could be released without scaring the neighbors.

Before I could start throwing things, I came to the bottom of the lock box. No, it wasn’t my passport. It was something much, much better…something really nice. Really really nice. On the border of vomitrocious, but honestly, it made me so happy.

It was a small collection of letters, hand written by my very own mother, all addressed to my father. Mom & Dad. In letterform. Christmas cards, just-because letters, love notes, etc. All saved by my dad, and placed in the same box that houses our birth certificates, social security cards and passports—the single most important documents in a person’s life.

I read them. Not all of them, but enough to be reminded of the rarity that is their marriage. The 30 year kind, the I’ll-let-you-snore-if-you-let-me-have-all-the-covers-kind. A part of the other 50%, the percent that is still sharing their lives together, fights and lacking patience and irritation included. And yet, somehow, this 50% has managed to get through it, and come out the other side still holding hands. Okay, maybe the hand holding is at a minimum, but metaphorically speaking, they haven’t stopped holding hands since the day they were married. They drink their morning coffee holding hands; go to work with fingers entwined, and come home for dinner, hand in hand.

I know the risks involved with marriage, the possibilities of divorce and all sorts of other terrible things, but it’s finding the love notes my mother wrote to my father 30 years ago secured in the same box that contains our identity that lifts my heart.

       These two are the reason my heart will someday find & keep another, hand in hand, for all eternity.  

3 comments:

  1. Once again, great stuff: touching, powerful, heartfelt.

    I think you should turn this into a short story.

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  2. Really beautiful Kerry. I'll admit I had never been a adamant fan of marriage. Nor have I really attracted the attention of someone who would consider such a thing. My friends and I have tried to live the 'bachelor' lifestyle, promising each other we would not think about marriage until we were 30.

    One day I made a surprise visit home to see my parents. I had no key and so stood outside the living room window looking in (aiming to grab the attention of my mum or dad so they could open the front door). What I saw instantly changed my whole perspective of life, marriage, and love. Screw the 'player' lifestyle, I wanted what I saw right at that very moment.

    My parents have never been a publicly affectionate type. I have never seen them kiss, ever. When I looked through the window that evening I saw them cuddled under a blanket, drinking some form of drink, laughing. It gave me a kick up the backside (I actually got back in my car and drove home. I did not want to interfere with that moment, it was perfect).

    You are going to pick whoever you want and that person is going to move mountains to be with you. They have no option other than to fall for you.

    Loving the love letters. Obviously a letter is one of the most personal things a human can ever produce. Would love to read any you've written. Happily exchange (but you've gotta pretend I've never done such a thing if any of my guy mates come knocking)!

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  3. Tom that is the most perfect thing I have ever heard. I got chills reading it. It's like a scene from a movie! I love knowing that things like that actually exist. :)

    The love letters! It's a wonderful thing, I've written a few so far...you should give it a shot. I promise I won't tell!

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