Visiting, by mail..
It's been a long time since I've opened a letter addressed in my mother's left-handed, cursive-writing style. But I miss it. I miss reading her letters that brought tears or laughter with every stroke of her pen. She was the only person I knew who wrote beautifully with her left hand and who wrote exactly like she talked
That voice. I can still hear her voice in her words. And the voices of everyone in her world. My Tio Manuel. My Tia Carlota. My dad. The sound of the bulldozers and road maintenance men across the street in the county shop. This was her world, and she sent it to me on whatever writing paper she had on hand. Sometimes it was yellow lined; other times, white stationary. Once, she wrote on the back of a church bulletin. Someone was getting married, so she sent me the marriage banns. Three Sundays--I had three Sundays if I wanted to object.
I like your letters. They are an absolute joy to read. It's been a long time since I've said that to my mother. She stopped writing a long time before she died. "I'm too forgetful now," she said, when I mentioned I hadn't received a letter in a long time, "I forget what I was going tell you." So she'd call, instead, and leave a message on the answering machine if she didn't find me at home. "This is your mother, Corina Martinez," she'd say, as if I wouldn't know her voice, anywhere.
So yeah, it's been a long time since I've told my mother I like reading her letters, but it hasn't been that long since I've heard it myself.
I write. A lot. And every once in a while, I find someone who writes back, someone who writes like my mother once wrote which was straight from the heart. I cherish these precious few. They know how to complain, and love, and cry and laugh. On paper.
Letters from home. I love letters from home.