Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Writing a Letter (handwritten correspondence) (10/21/10)
TITLE: The Letter
By Anastacia Hawkins
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Near the bottom of the box I find a letter. As I pick it up, my heart skips a beat, the handwriting on the envelope so familiar. I lightly run the tips of my fingers across the words "To Stacey Alicia Maria on her 10th Birthday, June 10th, 1974". The letter from Dad. I close my eyes and picture his large, gentle hand scrawling the generous, loopy letters as he thinks of his youngest daughter and what he might say to her on her 10th birthday. What life lesson should he impart? What message of love would be enough?
"Today, on your 10th birthday, seems to be a good time to tell you how much I love you and how much you’ve meant to me throughout the past 10 years." Six years later, he would be gone. I would be sixteen and without a father to love, to debate with, to learn from, to be held by when my heart was broken.
"My baby, the greatest thing you can do for me is to continue through life being a fine person, doing good things for others, believing in God, and always remembering your Daddy and the way he loves you." These words seep in through my eyes and touch my very soul. His heart was weak, but his love strong enough to cross a divide of thirty years, reach out to me through these precious words on paper and say “I love you. I’m here.” I wipe away the tears that are streaking down my cheeks and hold the letter close to my heart. I bring it to my nose and breath in. Instead of dusty paper and ink, the scents of coffee, cigars and dry-cleaning fill my senses, and he’s here with me, always with me.
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