Leaving Letters


Can you remember the last time you sat down and wrote out a letter for someone? No, I don’t mean you sent out an email or an “lol” text, but actually sat down and wrote out a meaningful, well thought out letter. It’s hard, right? But yesterday I wrote two, one for each daughter. Before I leave for Japan early Thursday morning, I will place both letters on the dining room table for them to find when they wake up.

My girls are my whole world, and we send each other several text messages a day. “Have a great day at school.” “OMW home.” “Love you.” Do these phrases sound familiar? Short and sweet, right? But I felt like I had to do more than just send them a “Love u so much. Gonna miss y’all. Be sweet” text. So I sat at my desk with blank paper and a pen ready to draft a long poignant but heartfelt letter about how sad I feel for having to leave them, and how much I will miss them over the next three months that I am away.

“Dear Alora,” I started on the first one…then nothing. I create stories and poems, and I am constantly scribbling down the phrases and ideas bouncing around in my head. So why in the world was it so difficult for me to find the words I wanted to leave for them? The first one I crumbled up and threw away, but it read pretty much like a text.

“Dear Alora,

Mama is going to miss you so much. Keep up with your studies. Don’t forget to practice your clarinet everyday. I love you.”

Terrible! Absolutely awful. I knew I couldn’t leave a letter like that for my girls. I found that I was so accustomed to sending the quick messages that I was struggling, really stumbling, over what I wanted to convey. Well, what I was meaning to say finally came to me several sheets of paper later, but it made me aware of how out of practice I am at letter writing. So my goal is to write them a letter every week that I am gone, describing to them the culture, the food, the sights and sounds, while also expressing how much I love and miss them and how proud I am of them. I also challenge you to write a letter to someone today. You don’t have to be going on an extended trip or have any reason other than to let that person know- in more than a few words on a screen- how much they mean to you. Good luck, y’all!


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