Love letter from 67 year-old Erika

by erika

Dear Erika,

Do you remember when you didn’t know how to grill? Or thought you didn’t? And how you didn’t think you could fill the air in the tires of your car? Now, you still look like you’re on a Japanese game show when you try but do it you can! Oh, and remember taxes? How impossible they seemed? And budgeting? And opening envelopes that looked like bills? And making chili? (damn, you make good chili). And what about long division and how to teach it to your kid? And getting your plates renewed? And your car in for an oil change? And being chair without Sharon? And signing the boy up for Y camp? And making a good single cup of coffee? And going to bed without crying? Remember when you didn’t know how to do that?

Oh I see you, and though that right big toe bunion is so huge you’ve named her Paul (short for Paulette), you haven’t slowed down much on all the learning–though your relevés have gone to shit. There was the learning from the time you lost a longtime friend in your late 40s–your personal truth won out over trying to make someone else happy and that cost you. Don’t worry, you get them back. And there was that learning from “failing your boy,” I mean, mothering. Don’t worry, you get him back, too. And there was the learning about disappointment–but that came with the learning about self-forgiveness, so yay! And the learning about “inappropriate servitude,” giving away too much of yourself  for fear that you might not be good enough at your true purpose and look foolish.  To whom? you finally asked and Fuck it! you finally said, thus sealing your karmic work on that bullshit once and for all (this may or may not have been just last week…).

My dear, dear one. From where I sit  at this table by the sea, you are infinitely connected to your time on this earth because of all you have learned and your openness to learning more–from love, from losing love, from grief, from longing, from joy–and maybe, most of all, from forgiveness. Forgiveness. So much gift/give in that word. For the ness of giving. For give’s “ness.” We live for this ness and for giving this ness to ourselves. It is our birth rite, though it often takes until our death to receive it. You’re not at that door, my love, you still have more turns to go, and you’ve almost got it down. Almost.

There’s something you have been saying to yourself as a whisper that you will start to say aloud. First to yourself and then to others. We have it printed on our personalized stationery now (yes, paper–a delicacy) and it’s our favorite motto so far. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Oh, lady. Get a little still and quiet and listen. You hear it? Not yet? I’m not worried…I have the stationery to prove that you can.

Love you, beauty.

67 year-old Erika