I was perfectly amazed this morning to pick up a note that had fallen beside my bed, and find it a handwritten note from my father—dead almost twenty years.
His writing is distinct, and I knew it at once, feeling he’d slipped it to me just this morning through some crack in space or time, or maybe sent it all those years ago by some particularly slow and peregrinating carrier. It made me so happy, for a moment.
I realized that it must have been tucked between the typewritten pages of a manuscript of his I’ve been transcribing, and somehow fallen free. He would have jotted down the note one summer evening in his den in Santa Fe, the room with typewriter (whose carriage once or twice knocked his Saturday morning mug of coffee all over the floor and wall, amidst much colorful cursing), Samurai sword, framed photos taken at the Mount Washburn fire lookout, and big Random House dictionary left open to consult for double crostics.
It comments on the words he was writing about his childhood growing up in Idaho, and on his life as a precocious youth, but I’d like to find meaning in it for my own journey just now, my ongoing exploration of ways to go forward. It’s not every day, not anymore, that I get notes from my father. So whatever they are, I can only take them to heart, and be grateful.
“Sometimes the physical and emotional chronology of maturation got out of synch with mental maturity, and that could lead to frustration and tears.”
image: Christie B. Cochrell