The End

I thought I’d written the last post from my child-of-alcoholic collection, but a yellow paper tucked into the corner of my writing desk catches my eye.


after Ma dies,
return addresses I’ve seen before,
times I brought her mail to her.

I would ask Ma
who this or that was,
how she knew them,
and she’d shrug, saying,
“Just people I write to and they write to me.”

And that was enough.
No need to invade her privacy.

BUT after she’s gone
the mail keeps trickling in,
forwarded to my house.
I see the personal notes
still coming,
one or two from former neighbors back in NJ, I can tell,
but the rest from all over,
I have no clue.

I sit and write
to let each person know what happened,
so they aren’t wondering why she isn’t writing back.

* * *

comes a newsletter,
something I’ve not seen before,
a clearinghouse for pen pals,
all A.A. people unable,
due to distance or health,
to attend meetings.

So THIS was it.
THIS is why she went through stamps at breakneck speed.

Over 90
and still doing her part,
setting prisoners free.

helping someone else break out and stay out,
sharing her story,
letting someone know they are not alone
and, most importantly,
letting each person know
there is
at least one person in the world listening.

90 and still writing,
each piece meant
for an audience of one.

* * *

PLAYING in the background as I write this post is Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédia No. 1.” I was a teenager when I first heard it and my dreams at that time were to live a life very different from my mother’s. In many ways, I have. I don’t apologize for having that dream nor for fulfilling it. But in recent years, her last years, I was given the opportunity to see how much Ma and I had in common, especially our basic wiring. This was a gift to me!  Maybe someday I will write a book about it. Maybe I already have. But for now, if you will excuse me, I have a letter to write, to let someone know they are not alone, to let them know I am listening. I am back to writing for an audience of one and will not be blogging, possibly for a very long time.

See the entire child-of-alcoholic series of posts HERE.

* * *

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About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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