Love letters straight from the heart…
I have no idea why this particular Alison Moyet song has been going round in my head this week, but it has. And it got me thinking about the joy I used to feel, back in the days when I did write love letters.
I was always a letter writer, from an early age. When I’d right royally done something hideous as a child, I’d pen an apology to my mum and somehow that extra effort (as it was seen) would melt her heart, and all would be forgiven (until the next time…)
Some of my best learning (& epic fails) in Spanish came from the writing of truly awful (love) letters to a wholly inappropriate holiday romance – I laugh and cringe in equal measures when I look back and think about it now, but I remember my Spanish teacher being amazed at some of my ‘colloquial vocabulary’!
When I went traveling at the end of my first year of uni – and promptly went completely doolally on Larium (NEVER take this medicine, EVER!) one of the things that I remember pulling me through was receiving a carefully and lovingly written aerogramme from my Dad.
He’d sent it care of the airline I was flying with to Burma (as it was then) – to the airport, quoting my flight number – and it was handed to me as I checked in. I was amazed and brought to tears – as I realised that even though I was miles away, I was loved.
But nowadays, no one really writes letters any more. Love letters or otherwise. Sometimes that really does make me sad. Other times, I’m grateful that communication can be so much quicker, so much more direct…
But the magic of having words crafted into elaborate sentences, of taking the time to really express how you feel – I think it’s probably the effort I miss more than anything. And I miss the doing part of it, as well as the receiving part of it.
So for now, a few small letters of my own – in the hope of the recipients knowing that they are loved.
To the traveling hubby
Come home. You are missed. Really missed. We are making our way through this huge adventure and without a doubt this (big) city and (overly large) home just feels emptier without you. Come home and let me grumble about what you have missed while you have been traveling. It somehow always feels funnier when I share it with you.
To the little ones
Thank you, for your hunting me out eyes and huge smiles when I pick you up every day. Thank you for taking every part of this adventure in your stride, even when it completely overwhelms me. And Big Pickle, thank you this week in particular for the shopping list you wrote me. That journey of yours around the kitchen, checking and asking and writing – well, to me, that was quite a love letter of its own – it meant I had one less thing to think about doing at the end of the day. And it meant you got what you wanted. Both happy. Result!
To my dear bestie
I owe you a million (love) letters of thanks for all you have sat with me through from uni to here. 20 years is a long time. More than many a marriage. More than a served sentence ‘for life’. I’m not sure I’d have enough paper and ink, so for now, FaceTime will have to do.
To my old / new / who’d have thought I’d be in Shanghai with you friend
I am so happy to have you here and so grateful for all you have done to ease our entry into this world of chaos. It’s been so lovely and so easy to pick up the conversation again. And so comforting to hear you having the same conversations with your tribe that I have with mine! (Sorry for whatever bumps and bruises were incurred at the play date / war zone this afternoon!)
To my old team in London
You have no idea how much I miss each and everyone of you! Go rock Cologne – and share your stories of glory with me post event!
And to my new team here in Shanghai
Thank you for welcoming me. I have so much to learn here, and you are an amazingly talented, gracious, patient bunch of teachers. Countdown is on – go show everyone what the team is made of and then, maybe we could all sit down, take a breath, and have a laugh together… Whilst listening to some bad Christmas music… (Last Christmas here we come…)
Not a full house of love letters by any means… But a starting point. Because sometimes it’s just nice to actually put down in words how wonderful life is when certain people are in your world… (And I know a song about that, too…)
(It’s ended up more musical than I ever would have thought… And none of it makes me look good… Think it’s about time we got AppleMusic sorted… It appears I’m a good couple of decades out of kilter…)