The 11th of October 1982 – Wichita Falls, Texas

(found beneath the middle cushion of a leather sofa)

Dear Ralph,

My goodness.

I don’t know what it was, but it did just strike me to reach out to you. How long has it been?

I just had a memory of you that knocked me right off my feet, that hit me harder than a tornado, that pushed me down on this couch where I’m not much more than a lumpy sack of potatoes. And that’s where I still am, on the couch and trying to catch my breath back from the tornado of you that stole it all away.

I’m wrinkled now, Ralph. I imagine that you are too. I’m wrinkled and forgetful. I couldn’t find my shoes the other day. Oh, Harry and I searched all over the house for that old pair of shoes. You’ll never guess where we found them.

You just won’t Ralph. Or maybe you will. You did always know me well, maybe even better than Harry does.

Well, the shoes were on the shoe rack in the foyer. The shoe rack! Where else would they be?

I know I walked by there three or four times yesterday morning. I just don’t believe how I never even saw them. In my defense, Harry moved them while he was vacuuming in there. So they were on the shoe rack but in a different place.

You just walk past something for so long that you can’t ever see it for what it is, I guess.

Ralph, I don’t know. I just don’t.

Does that make sense to you? I remember that it used to. Harry doesn’t understand when I tell him that. He’s been so wonderful to me. He always cleans up my mess. He’ll help me find my shoes. But he’ll never understand when I tell him “I just don’t know.”

Last week we all went apple picking, with James and Marilyn and the Grandkids. It was just a whale of a time! And Harry, gosh even though he’s that old, he kept picking me up so I could reach the ripe apples on the top branches! It was just a whale of a time!

But I still just don’t know.

So I just had a memory of you, and it knocked me right the heck over.

Love,

Clara

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