I write every day. Sometimes when I’m driving I have to pull over to the side of the road when a fantastic bundle of words shoots through my brain and wants to be a sentence, or a paragraph, “RIGHT THIS SECOND!” says my mind, and there is always a pencil, pen, and paper within my reach. I also still hand write letters, and some people I have written to ( or is it ‘to whom I have written?’ ) have cherished my letters and have told me so, but a couple of them have dismissed them, and me, as sappy or silly, or too emotional and serious, and those people, well, I never write to them again. Some days I write a lot and some days I write very little, and sometimes what I put on paper really matters, and sometimes it is a whole lot of nothing.
In February of 2006 I wrote many long love letters to the people who I cared about. I was going to have major surgery and was told I would be under anesthesia for at least four hours, it turned out to be seven, and while I had no fear of the operation and full confidence in the surgeon, I had read enough novels and seen enough movies to know that sometimes it’s the anesthesia that’s what kills you, and on my drive to the hospital that day I knew that if it was to be my last day on earth, the letters on my desk were addressed and nothing would be left unsaid.
A few weeks ago as I was packing for a short trip with a group of girlfriends, I was thinking about doing this again, writing my ‘Just In Case’ love letters. While I had no real worries about our plane crashing on the way to Florida, or falling off the deck of the cruise ship out in the middle of the Atlantic, or being kidnapped and murdered in The Bahamas, I still spent a lot of time wondering if I ought to write some letters. I like the feeling of closure, and knowing that when things end, there is nothing un-said. I am well aware that I could be in an accident when I leave for work tomorrow and be dead by dinner time, but that can happen to anybody any day, which is why it just seems sensible to me to sometimes write when I have things on my mind, to say what I want to say, just in case. I write to him, Justin Case, more often than you might think. Justin Case is frequently on my mind when I write a thoughtful letter, whether handwritten or typed. Sometimes I have to say what is on my mind, you know just get those words out, or I feel like I might go mad. Out, damned words! out, I say! …and then once all the words are out of me, I press delete, or I throw the paper in the trash or the shredder, but at least the words are free from the confines of my brain.
I have many people who I love so much and have been so good to me in my life. I have a daughter for whom I always did everything I possibly could, so she would have the best possible outcomes in her life. I have those two beautiful granddaughters of mine who, jeez-louise there are simply not enough words in my limited vocabulary to describe the depth of feelings that I have for them, other than what I often say or write, that I had no idea how much love was inside of me until they were born. I have some friends I really treasure, and a boyfriend whose smile still makes my belly flip and my spine tingle. I have a lot of people who I would want to know how deeply I love them, just in case…but I didn’t do it.
I did not leave any letters for anybody. Instead I left for my trip comforted with the knowledge that I love people honestly, and that I often tell them how much they mean to me, and I show my love as much as I can in as many ways that I can. I try to express myself truthfully whenever the mood strikes, and I felt pretty good with the thoughts that the people I love know that I love them, and I felt like it was a pretty good measure of how I am living this life, that I had nothing really left to say to Justin Case.