I didn’t mean to lose my chill in the hospital waiting room. It was unexpected and unrelated to the visit. Too much time to think, I guess – I swear, I wasn’t trying to make it all about me. I really tried to hold it together and hide the salty pool of tears collecting in the corners of my eyes. No matter how hard I tried, the floodgate burst in public and without my consent.
It’s how That Song fills the radiowaves with nostalgia – or the smell of blueberry pie gets caught in your nostrils – it takes you back to a moment, a person, or a feeling. This time, it was Hannah Brencher’s book, “If You Find This Letter” that had me ugly crying in front of 100 anxious strangers. I’m not even halfway through her memoir, but I already feel like she wrote it just for me. The subtle nods to her brother’s addiction, the tribute to her mother, the yearning to connect with people and to make them feel a little less alone.
I ripped out a page from the notebook I carry with me everywhere. It was time for me to write the letter I’ve been writing in my head for a long while now.
Since before I can rememer, I’ve used pen and paper to express feelings that were too raw for me to speak aloud. The flowing print-cursive hybrid scribbles help me put feelings into words without my voice shaking, and to be frank, without me chickening out and pushing those feelings down to the pit of my stomach. The pen keeps me from being a snotty, salty, ugly crying mess. It’s helped me to say the things many of us never do: I’m sorry. I love you. I forgive you.
So here I am in the waiting room with a blank piece of paper and a stamp I bought from the gift shop. The letter I’ve been writing in my head will finally find a home on a blank piece of lined paper that is jagged on the edges. But I will not carry it with me in the notebook that never leaves my side. This note will finally make its way to someone I’ve loved since their precious soul arrived on this earth – someone who needs to know that they are loved and not alone and that I’m sorry and that I forgive them.
Not just regular love but a higher love. I love them for exactly who they are – not who I hope they’ll be with enough fixing. And oh! How I’ve prayed for the fixing. Part of me still does.
But as I write this, I realize that my prayer has changed – from one of change to one of love. One that is hopeful for soulful healing with the help of a few words scrawled across the page.