My friend Mike, like myself, turned 60 this year (it’s only been days for me, and I’m still processing the farewell to my fabulous fifties). Mike wrote letters to 60 people who had influenced his life (yup, 60 letters!) I was very touched to receive one of those letters (I taught his daughters in Confirmation class, and they went on quite a few mission trips with me).
I determined that I, too, would pen special notes, one for each year of my life. Though I realize the hand-written missive is usually more meaningful, in my case the recipient would not have a clue what I had said to them, such is my penmanship these days. So—I’d type them on my computer. That was the ticket! I began to make a list of the 60 lucky folks who would unexpectedly hear from me. My high school French teacher! My first grade best friend! A fellow actor from my dinner theatre days! They would be thrilled to know that they had been fondly remembered by a middle-aged woman in Pennsylvania! Wouldn’t they??
Then reality sunk in. Who am I kidding? Writing (always belated) thank you notes for gifts is the extent of my non-electronic correspondence—and those only because our mom drilled the etiquette into us. I gave up on individual Christmas card notes years ago, and can’t bring myself to pay postage for Yuletide greetings simply signed, illegibly, with my name. “Who do we know named Elsa? Elijah? Elliott?” I imagine the puzzled queries of my friends as they try to decipher my handwriting.
This heartwarming project is, alas, probably not going to happen. But maybe…maybe I could do a much briefer version of Mike’s tributes. I could tweet about my honored people! Short and sweet!
|Mo and I ready for Sister Mary Frances' musical extravaganza!|
My Nana’s (very) eccentric elderly friend: Retta O’Brien, you taught me that you’re never too old for go-go boots and bright red lipstick! Four year old me called you a “glamour girl.”
The meanest kid in elementary school: Peggy C., thank you for toughening me up! I needed the exercise of running home, sobbing, after you banished me from your house.
My ambitious choir director: Sister Mary Frances, from you I learned that 26 solos in an 8th grade concert is about 20 too many, especially if one is the theme from “Gone with the Wind.”
The violinist who stood us up at our wedding: Thank you “Itzhak Perlman”! The processional sounded pretty strange without you, but the money we saved paid for the gas between Atlanta and our NYC honeymoon.
The hairdresser who gave me that hideous perm: Appreciated the special “do,” Donna! I looked just like a life sized Shirley Temple doll. Every 35 year old woman’s dream.
And so on. My favorite bus driver...my niece with the seven (God love her) children.. shout-outs to them all! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m on a roll here. Gratitude abounds, 140 characters at a time. 60 tweets or bust!
|The exact moment I realized my wedding violinist was a no-show|