A sign of keep in touch written on wood

Stay In Touch

My Journal 

When was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter or even a short note to a friend or a family member? Do you go online to send greeting cards? During the holidays, are you simply too pushed to find the time to sit at your desk and reflect on the memories that draw you to someone that makes you smile?

I am guilty of this, but one day I pushed the clutter on my desk to one side and then picked up my pen, warmed by the need to share my thoughts.

Dear friend,

Oh, how I’ve missed you…

As I wrote, I remembered a time long ago. My mother loved to write letters. Her thoughts would flow across the page, pertinent facts, silly or rambling reflections; it didn’t matter. I would sit and watch her, usually resting my head on my folded arms on the kitchen table. My eyes would follow her hand as she quickly wrote…her renderings elegant, the script beautiful. I would watch her face, maybe a smile, a muffled bit of laughter as she penned a funny happening, or as she gently bit her lip if the words recalled something troubling. She would write and write, hardly aware, I think, that I was there, although there were times when she would ask me to refill her coffee cup, not wanting to take the time to put down her pen and complete this simple chore.

In her quiet but positive way, she taught me the importance of writing, saying thank you for a gift received, or just staying in touch. Once a month, we traveled to the next town, to a large department store. We would get on the bus that would take us to this wonderland of goodies, everything from soft, silky underpinning to the stationery department, the primary reason for our trip.

Oh, my goodness, even as I type this, I feel such a delightful thrill as I also remember, as we got comfortable for the twenty-minute bus ride, how she always maneuvered our conservation toward me, delicately extracting bits of me that I had unconsciously tucked away; what I felt or my thought, ideas of who I was or wanted to be. I have almost forgotten how skilled she was.

My mother was the best. Her values were never compromised and always held to the highest level, and although she tried and never gave up on me, it was no easy task to instill in me all she knew I must learn. But I did learn to appreciate the value of staying in touch.

As we entered the store, our first stop would usually be the stationery department. Mother believed in individuality. She would never dream of telling me what to buy. But each trip, as we looked at all the excellent writing materials available, I always purchased the same kind. It came in a box of fifty sheets, made by a company named Montag, the color of dark cream. It was simple but beautiful, and just like me, there were no curlicues or frills.

Yes, I remember those times and this grand lady who tried to teach me so much, and now, when I pick up my Parker pen filled with brown ink and a new sheet of my dark cream stationery, my joy is simply beyond description as I write ―

Dear Friend,

Oh, how I have missed you.

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