In this day and age, people want things quick, instant, now! It seems almost like an illness of the mind, the way we play our lives out impatiently at breakneck speed.
Thus, I really cherish the letters that my parents (mostly my Ma) send from the happy little home I grew up in in Portsmouth. My Ma would send my daughter and I cute cards, seeds, pressed flowers, newspaper cuttings (as if we do not have access to news!) and little things in her life. I know my Ma sits in the sunny kitchen as she writes her letters to my daughter and I. She sits at the same table that my brothers and I sat at more than 35 years ago doing our homework whilst she bustled around the kitchen happily. It sounds incredible and unbelievable, but I don’t have a single recollection of an unhappy time with my Ma in this kitchen.
My father and I, on the other hand, have always had a difficult relationship. He is spiky and feisty, and so am I (I guess). A casual conversation has the potential to turn nasty at any given moment. Imagine how moved I was when I received a long letter from him in January, written in his spidery hand, delivered surprisingly efficiently by the Thai postal service. He must have written it the day I left London. There were blotches in the ink so his tears must have fallen as he wrote the letter to me. In the letter, he poured out his despair for ‘not being able to protect my little girl’. His pain just reached out from the letter and squeezed my heart.I can just imagine him sitting in his study early in the morning before my Ma woke up, crying as he wrote to me. He must have berated himself so harshly for allowing to happen when in actual fact, there was nothing he could do. Oh Daddy, I am sorry for your pain.
Today, I sat on my sunny terrace surrounded by the glorious beauty of Phuket and wrote an old fashioned letter to someone who has cared and loved me so very deeply throughout the years. Why don’t you too? Bet you’ll really surprise some lucky person and give him/her a lot of joy x