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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

hidden letters

I do this thing where I get all emotional and start writing these special letters. I began the practice after my mother passed away nearly twelve years ago.

I was the one who sorted through every saved piece of paper, article of clothing, and photograph—every thing. Seeing what she found important enough to save in a shoebox under her bed or tucked into her scriptures or in a mound of fabric and notions in her sewing room (just to be realistic) got me thinking about what I will leave behind for my loved ones to clean up and find.

She didn't write in her journal faithfully. Actually, it was pretty darn disappointing when I ran across them and only the first handful of pages were filled in. Maybe one or two had more than that, but never a finished one. So, I write in my journal as faithfully as this crazy life permits. Most of the time now, I write every day. I don't write but 1/100 part of the goings on of my day, but I try to write something. I write something that will let the people I love know that I thought of them every day, that I prayed for them, that I loved them dearly, and that I am an imperfect person with worries and problems.

My mom saved letters instead, I think. By reading through the letters she received from others and the several unsent letters intended for family and friends, I was able to get to know my mother the friend, aunt, sister, daughter, and woman.  I already had seen her live as a wife and mother. You knew it when she was happy because she was singing and sewing. And boy, she sure would buckle down in a huff when she was ticked off. And my dad knew it too. So anyway. I also save letters and thank-you cards that I receive from people. I save all of them. I have a couple of special letter boxes that I put thank-yous in. And I keep an empty chocolates box to hold the tangible sweet nothings from a darling friend of mine.

And as far as that special letter writing of mine goes, I sit down from time to time and write letters to each of my children and tuck them into their special "school box" as we call them. They each have a storage container where we save their school work and any fun little things they want to save for their grown up selves. When I finish writing the letter, I date it, seal it up, and tuck it amongst the schoolwork so as to hide it away. I even write to my daughter with Autism who might never understand what I wrote or even that I'm gone if she outlives me (I mention that last bit because she just started mentioning that her "dad gone work" a few months ago, and he moved out almost four years ago.). I wrote the first letter to my youngest son when he was just a baby. The crazy thing about these hidden letters is that I couldn't even tell you how many I've written or what they even say exactly! I always write them when I am overwhelmed with love, gratitude, or affection. It should be quite the read some day. I hope.

Writing letters is something that I have done throughout my life, writing to cousins in California and Texas, a pen pal in Cincinnati, Ohio, and later on to grandparents and aunts and uncles. I took a bit of a break from letter writing to others for a few years there when life was really bad. I'm happy to report that I did pick the habit back up again a year and a half ago, and I feel like I'm back to myself in that regard. It just feels good to write out those things that I want to say but don't have a natural place in time to do so. It does my heart good to more fully express myself to the people I hold dear, and I'm thankful for the opportunities that I take for it.

Since writing this, I can't remember what exactly got me thinking about those hidden letters to my children. But the thought crosses my mind to write all this now, so in case anything happens to me someone will know to tell them where I hid all the love that I could gather into words for them to hold onto until the next hug comes around in heaven. Let's all hope that time doesn't come for a good, long spell though, but it's always smart to communicate about things like this. It would be tragic if those containers were mistaken for trash and thrown out in the cleaning process.

Now, remember the letters are in those school boxes (but ssshhhh). Okay?


  1. What a wonderful way to share your love with your children! I miss letters and feel we've lost something very precious in our current day email, texting world. Your family is lucky to have someone like you who still writes letters.

    1. I really love letters. Thank you for appreciating them too!

  2. My mother insists that I will curse her name when she's gone. She keep everything!

    1. She's a hoot! It will just give you a little longer to cherish her touch on the world. Trust me. :)


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