By Lindy Chaffin Start
When writer’s block sets up camp in your soul and refuses to leave, it’s only natural a writer find another way. My other way comes in the form of Letters to My Daughter. Mind you, they are housed in a black leather-bound journal, but they begin with a date and “Dear Lovey” and end “with love from Mom.” To me, that constitutes letters and it’s letters I’ve been writing to her since December 5, 2011, 372 days after her dad, my ex-husband announced he was leaving. It was at that point I decided that I had to get some things off my chest, exorcise a few demons.
I must admit, not every day has been filled with love. In the beginning I poured out my heart in the only way I knew how, talking about the pain, the games, and how the torture just kept going. The clocks kept ticking. The sound that made me insane when my daughter was first born – tick tock tick tock – reminding me how quickly she was growing became the sound that my heart synced up to in order to keep beating. And with every heart beat life moved on, slowly. Lovey grew upward, up to 44 inches in March, and my heart grew a little stronger. I’m still waiting for wings to sprout, but for now, at least it can beat on its own.
It kept time with the world yesterday and granted me joy in experiencing the little things and the ability to write about them. Things like:
The color Moroccan red, which now artfully adorns our kitchen and makes me smile each time I glance in that direction; cats purring and mewing around my ankles as they seek out a snack, and a little Buddy who refuses to leave my side; the smell of roses and gardenia growing together; any blue bird God ever created followed closely by red, then yellow; the romantic trill of a cowbird; a bullfrog croaking along with the sound the water makes as it pours over the rocks; the smell of rain as storm clouds begin to loom; the sight of brightly colored leaves and flowers spreading out across our vegetable garden knowing tasty, fresh vegetables aren’t far behind; learning Lovey had written her very first stories in school yesterday and her confidence as she proudly read them to me; the sound of her sobs as she begged, “Mommy, please, please let me sleep in your bed tonight because I miss you and…I’m crying” – sweet, funny girl; the sound of her softly snoring as she lay on the pillow next to mine; the breeze rustling the leaves outside my window and the tinkling sound of rain drops bouncing off the window; the sound of friends laughing, especially Mickey who has the heartiest laugh ever to leave a man’s chest; my mom and aunt as they feed off of one another’s hysterical laughter until they both begin to cry and the priceless looks of confusion on my father’s and uncle’s faces; the sound doves make as they launch into the sky; and the moment I once again experienced true joy.
Every day I write a letter to my little girl. Each day is different, yet each one offers the promise that life really is getting better. MAybe someday she’ll accept it as my gift of wit and wisdom about how purely crazy our lives were way back when. Maybe someday the pain, the games , and the torture will stop. Maybe someday my heart will sprout wings and lift my soul whistling as doves do when they fly away.
What little things have you experienced that have brought you joy?