Sunday, January 4, 2009

How to Make Yourself Cry

I spent today, my first full day back in the Ville, completely inside my apartment, unpacking and packing stuff.  I have a lot of stuff.  This packing required going through a lot of stuff that has been packed away since I moved here back in '06.  I found my cabbage patch doll's adoption certificate (Rosa Teresa, Nov. 1st), my first driver's license, my first library card, the surgical mask the doctors gave Rhinokey when I had my tonsils out, lots of random stuff.

I also found a letter I wrote to my parents and mailed to myself before leaving Zambia.  Not remembering what it was, I opened it.  I was just going to glance over the letter to see what I could possibly have mailed from myself to myself, but it sucked me in.  I sent it in case the plane crashed on my way home (I HATE flying), a sort of "if I could tell you one last thing."  I considered doing something similar before leaving Nigeria, but didn't.  I think I feel more content with my life and my communications with my loved ones now.

The letter was short, but full.  I bid good wishes to my oldest and dearest friends, who, happily, almost four years later are still my oldest and dearest friends.   And I tried to say what the words clearly couldn't convey, but what was somehow carried by the tone and the emotion of the writing, how very much my parents and sisters mean to me, how much I enjoy every minute with them and wish we could have more time together.  That's when those tear ducts started going.

I wish I hadn't opened it, now that I know what it is.  Not because I didn't want to read it, but because it sort of ruined the sanctity of it.  In a sense, I didn't need to read it.  I know how much my family means to me, and I try very hard to share as much time with them as I can.  I try to show them how much they mean; I hope they see it.

Maybe it was writing that in the first place that made me realize how valuable shared time is, and made me decide to always put important human interactions above anything else.

Or maybe it was that night I thought I was going to die...


Jeannie said...

How to make your mother and sister cry, too.

goldenrail said...

Which sister? Your children are all gone right now.

Jeannie said...

Katrina said it made her cry, too. She called when I was reading it.