When I was out in Portland last month, one of the activities I tasked myself with was sorting through the ephemera that I’ve collected over my lifetime. I had saved up a veritable mountain of programs from high school plays, drawings from pre-school, report cards, birthday cards and bits of newspaper that I had gotten my face into over the years. I was able to whittle it down to a manageable collection and packed it all into a suitcase that I checked with me when I returned to Philly.
Since I’ve been back, I haven’t touched that suitcase. The second half of May and all of June were incredibly busy and more recently my roommate was in the midst of packing up his own possessions, so there wasn’t time or space to pull it all out. The suitcase has stood patiently in a corner of my apartment, waiting for me to pay it a little attention.
This afternoon I rolled it into the roommate’s now-empty room and unzipped the bag. One of the items in the suitcase was a little clothing box, filled with all the letters, cards and notes that my mom received after I was born. When I packed up in Portland, I knew what was in that box and so didn’t take the time to go through it then, I knew that I wanted to keep it, which was the only criteria I was dealing with then. Things are slightly more leisurely now, and so I took a few minutes to flip through the box. There were cards signed by people who are still friends of the family and some from people I don’t remember ever getting the opportunity to meet. The letter you see below was one of the more entertaining ones, because it’s not often that you get to read a letter addressed to you that was written 28 years ago.
There’s something really wonderful about the idea of being loved by someone who hadn’t even clapped eyes on me yet.
I feel a little like I should write back.