Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Letter

When I was in college, I got a letter from my dad. It wasn’t about anything in particular, but my dad was a warm, funny, clever man, so I laughed aloud as I read it. My roommate asked what was funny, so I showed her the letter.

She laughed so loudly that it drew people from the hall, so she began reading aloud.

One of my friends didn’t laugh. In fact, she seemed oddly close to tears. When my roommate was done reading, the other girl went back to her room and came back with a letter from her dad—a wealthy, well-respected attorney.

She threw the letter on my bed. “Here’s what my dad writes to me.”

It had been dictated to his secretary and sounded like a business letter. It was all about money matters.

I looked down at my letter, which was signed, simply, with my father’s nickname: Paw. That was when I first started realizing how very lucky—and how wealthy—I really was.

Happy Father’s Day!


 The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money. ~Anonymous

15 comments:

  1. Byrd Baylor wrote a children's book called "The Table Where Rich People Sit." The table it's about is not an expensive, glossy piece of furniture. It's a homemade, rough-hewn wooden table. However, the family that sits at the table discuss their "riches" and how wealthy they are.

    This post should be made into a creative nonfiction piece. It's THAT powerful.

    It's obvious you had a wonderful family, Tammy, considering the person you are today. Think about celebrating Father's Day by writing a memoir story about your dad.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sioux! I'll have to look for that book. It sounds wonderful.

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  2. Your dad must've been a wonderful man. It's true that true wealth can't be measured in dollars and cents.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! And thank you for stopping by!

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  3. Wonderfully inspiring true story which proves money does not buy happiness.

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  4. I think it's great that your dad wrote you a letter! My dad never wrote. But he showed me how to change a tire, change the oil, and change the air filter in my car before I left for college. Dads have different ways of showing their love.

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    1. How true. In fact, in the past year I've seen several Facebook tributes written in honor of other dad - the attorney. These were posted by the same girl's sister. So apparently he was just a bad letter writer.

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  5. What a lovely memory! You are so blessed to have had such a wonderful, caring, involved, Dad! And, You have passed on all of this "wealth" to your kids too! They are so blessed to have you as their unconditional Mom, and lifelong cheerleader! You have sacrificed so much to give them this true gift!

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    1. Thanks so much, Holly! I'm so lucky to have always had great kids and wonderful, supportive friends.

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  6. Great story, Tammy. It reminded me of an episode of M*A*S*H* where Charles is talking to Hawkeye about the differences in their fathers and he says, "I had a father. You had a dad." Lucky for you, Tammy, you grew up with a dad!

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    1. I did indeed, Lisa. Thank you! :)

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  7. What a treasure. I can only hope you still have that letter. I have one little note that my dad scribbled on a letter that I had left him and well, I'll treasure it always. Love the quote too!

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    1. You know, it seems to me I still do have one of his letters. I hate to look right now because I'm liable to spend all day looking, but - rats! - I might end up doing that. Thank you, Lynn!

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  8. Oh, this is just beautiful, Tammy. I absolutely love the letter from your dad -- and you must get your warm, funny, and clever talent from him! What a moving tribute.

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