I was roused from slumber early this morning by the music of a heavy downpour.
Grateful to have a roof over my head, a cozy bed to sleep in and nothing urgent to
take care of in that moment, I let the rain be a source of delight. I envisioned
all the produce in the garden receiving a generous watering. I am sure that
the sun will shine in a few hours, allowing us to step outside for our eagerly-awaited
Sunday rendezvous with movement and reflection. Get out as soon as possible, we
all know how unpredictable the weather is these days!
Last week was a busy one for me. I spent a great deal of time going through the
mountains of neglected paperwork that have been covering the many previously-clear
desktops in my office. This undertaking has been going on for months. It sometimes
feels like I clear off one section and build up another in a different location. I am aware
that this paper clutter pattern has been my companion for most of my life. I am sure it
has some deep meaning but I am not going to dwell on that part of the situation right now!
Discarding unnecessary documents that I have kept for many years is a scary proposition.
Although there are many charts and guidelines about how long to keep official documents,
I ignore them because I think that something will be needed immediately after I have gotten
rid of it. On my recent trip to New York I explored a few boxes and I found (among others):
a letter I had written to a credit card company asking for (and eventually receiving) a lower
rate and a long letter detailing a dreadful experience with a receptionist at a children’s playgroup
(this one also received a reply). When I shared the latter with my children, their eyes widened in
disbelief at the length of my letter and the reply that was attached. They assured me no one would
even read a letter that long today, let alone reply to it. Times have changed.
While perusing a box, I found a tidy stack of letters with handwriting that was as familiar to me
as my own. My Mom (and occasionally my Dad) and I corresponded by regular mail for as long
as I can remember; even when I lived in Jersey City and she and my Dad lived in Queens!
One particular letter was written by her in early 1993, just after we had come to see the property
in Atenas that we eventually purchased. She extolled the beauty of the land and the mountains
that surrounded it, enthusiastically pitching it as the place that would meet the requirements of our
future. In this and in many other things, Mom was right!
Yesterday was International Alzheimer’s Day. My mother is stable in the latter stages of this
disease which affects millions around the world, including my family. I am grateful that I have
her letters. I don’t plan on ever discarding those mementos, they are precious reminders of the
woman she was and her unique philosophy of life. No chart or guideline will ever convince
Have a great day and a wonderful, productive week, Marietta