My Dad called. He said, “I wrote it all down, about our adventure of moving to Tahoe and how I remember it.” It came yesterday in the mail, and the pages tumbled out when I tore the envelope. “Do you think you could type it all down since I am not such a good typist?” I want to be able to read it, he said.
And in the writing it, and the reading of it, I knew he was reliving something powerful.
“I will do my best, Dad,” I said. And it’s an honor. When someone has put their heart on a page, you have to be careful with it. It’s something almost sacred that they are trusting you with, not just words on a page. I will keep the handwritten version for myself and I will save the other version on my computer, the one I will type neatly with no lines crossed out. No bold underlines. I will try to put the feeling in it, just the way he felt it.
I will do my best to bring it to life as he lived it.
Because our stories, our memories, is what we have. In sharing those, we open ourselves, our hearts to each other.
And it’s always a risk.
Because there is always the chance they won’t see it or feel it the way we intended. And that’s okay. We still have to share it.
As I picked up the pages again, I saw the way he wrote and I thought of how someday he won’t be here. Even now, I squeeze my eyes shut to keep tears from leaking out because I know it’s true. Someday the letters will stop. And I will imagine him sitting in a corner spot of light in Heaven with a big feather quilled pen. Writing his thoughts of all the beauty he sees, and meeting Jesus for the first time.
I have words in my treasure box, so many words gathered over the years. Sacred ones. The lid no longer shuts, but I slide them in anyway.
Because words from someone you love are always sacred.
I will do my best, Dad with your memory. Here is my only memory of it. I remember standing in something I now know was snow and crying because I didn’t like the cold.
And someone, probably you, sticking a ski pole in a snow bank so I could see the holes it made.
I think maybe you can fill the blanks in my mind, since I was only 2.
We will relive it together and then it will be ours to share.