Dear Grama

Natural born chatter box

April 25th, 1946

My Darling Nick,
Since seeing that little bit in the paper to-night that I am enclosing to you I have been so excited you would think I had my sailing papers already. You must agree with me darling that although it’s not my sailing papers yet it’s certainly good news, anyway ever since reading it I have felt all funny inside and I feel I must just sit down and write to you. Many thanks darling for the letter I got from you this morning, I hope you are okay darling as this leaves me but loving you and missing you as much as ever of course, more than ever if that’s possible. Doris also rang me up to tell me about the Queen Mary to-night as soon as she read it she said she had also heard that they have reached 32,000, so that’s only another 8000 to go before they reach my number, anyway Doris’ number is 38,000, so as soon as I hear she is going I won’t have long to wait, P.G. Nothing else much happened to-day, I have just come in from work and as Dixie is asleep I let Janey go to the pictures so I am alone here, Mum is in bed again because she doesn’t feel well again and the doctor is supposed to come to-night to see her. Darling please don’t think that anything you write will ever bore me because it never will, just like the song, every letter that you send me I read a dozen times or more, just because you write it darling, sometimes when I start a letter I usually think whatever am I going to find to write about but some how or other the words usually come pouring out, I guess it’s because I’m a natural born chatter box, but I guess you know that by now. I went in about my snaps to-day but they were still not ready so I guess you’ll still have to wait darling to see how I look now but I think I still look the same as when you left me maybe a little thinner, but I don’t think you will find anything missing, gee! This thinking below the belt must be catching aren’t you ashamed of your wifey darling? Still you always did say I would turn into a wolfess didn’t you sweet? Well I guess I’ll have to close now darling as I’m near the end. Good-night darling. God Bless You and pleasant dreams. Good-Luck. Au-revoir. Hope to see you soon. All my love to you forever.
Your ever loving wifey,
Rene
I LOVE YOU (in x’s)

April 25th, 2013

Dear Grama,
Oh, your excitement has got me all excited, too! With every letter, I feel as if I’m reading a book that I already know the ending to, yet it’s still so engaging. Your gittyness about the Queen Mary is an accurate one, and as you’ve mentioned in a few letters from last week as well, you seem to have a funny feeling about it and even dreaming about it. I’ll go ahead and say that even 67 years ago, intuition, gut feelings and believing that fate will so graciously work it’s magic…was alive and well. I love those kinds of feelings.
Following your lead, I’m going to go ahead and say that I have a good feeling about my journey on the Queen Mary II. Yes you heard correctly, Grams. I’m setting sail a day after your sailing date on the RMS Queen Mary II. Oh…I know, I know…I’m gushing, too. I have a funny feeling that I’m bound to meet some pretty phenomenal people on the lone voyage across the Atlantic. I arrive at the New York City port and plan to make my way home via train, just as you did.
It’s been a stunningly gorgeous week and I have officially lost track of the days of sunshine. I’m not sure if it’s that, or the countdown I have going, but I am continually having days when I just wish I could bottle up the gratitude. This country is amazing and in springtime it’s even more fabulous. British park culture is in full swing and I am loving it.
When I had my interview on Tuesday at the BBC for CBC, I spent the afternoon in a small park near some offices not far from Oxford Circus. It was so amazing seeing all of the business professionals coming out for lunch break picnics, taking in the sun. Yesterday I was in a more residential park and made friends with a few new moms and their little ones. Today’s meeting was perhaps the best of all…a 93 year old woman who told me all about her thriving theatre career that began in the 30’s. After a wonderful visit, she said it was so nice to be honoured to meet the Canadian gal who’s been all over the news. She had remembered me from my media frenzy back in February. So, needless to say…thank you for the chatterbox gene because the people I’m meeting on this journey within your journey, are beyond incredible.
With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,
Carly
xoxox
ps…you’re so cheeky…you wolfess, you.

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April 22nd, 1946

My Own Darling Nick,
After another lonely day without you darling I am here to try and tell you how much I love and miss you, but how can I tell you on paper, it is practically impossible, if I was only with you darling I know everything would be okay. I sure missed my letter this morning darling but as it was Easter Monday there wasn’t any, but I shall be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to collect the mail. I hope you are okay sweetheart as this leaves me. My cold is much better now and I feel more like my old self again. I am sorry I didn’t write last night darling but I only had this one air letter left and as the post offices don’t open until tomorrow I saved it for to-day, or rather I should say to-night. I hope you had quite a good Easter darling but if it was anything like mine I guess it was rather a lonely one. Yesterday Janey, Dixie and I went over to Joe’s for an evenings jaw, my aunt was there and my cousin, Mrs. Lissner and us, we only sat around chatting all evening and I learnt how to bottle fruit getting good aren’t I, but I don’t know what could happen if I try and experiment. There wasn’t much doing to-day the fair was on at Hampstead Heath. I wish you would have been here darling because I would have liked you to have seen it. I used to go there every holiday in my young days (old woman talking). I shall never forget one day when I was about thirteen years old I went with a crowd of boys and girls and we spent all our money and didn’t have our fare home so when the man wasn’t looking I cheated and put a penny we had left on the shilling square so we got a shilling to ride home with. I didn’t go to-day though because its not much fun on your own so I went to the pictures. I went to the State and saw Bette David in ‘The Corn in Green’ it wasn’t bad, but I sure hope that I spend next Easter Monday in a much better way. He has just announced on the AFN that the Americans should tell their wives to apply now to go to America because they have vacancies on the ships going next month, it sure makes me mad to hear things like that when all of us are waiting for ships. Well darling, I guess that’s the news for now except for me to tell you I love you, miss you and want you terribly and as you say this sure is no way to spend our married life, but never mind darling P.G.E. soon we will be to-gether then no one will be able to part us. They are just playing “Sentimental Journey” I hope mine will start soon please God. Goodnight Sweetheart. God Bless You and have pleasant dreams. Good-luck dear. Au-revoir, see you soon I hope. All my love to you forever.
Your everloving wifey,
Rene
I LOVE YOU (in x’s)

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April 22nd, 2013

Dear Grama,
Whenever you mention a song in your letter, I always play it while reading your cursive. It has this beautiful way of putting a cherry on top of the image I paint in my mind. I can literally imagine you listening to the wireless radio longingly writing your love on paper to your sweetheart. I love how music has that ability to add a whole new dimension to the imagination. Much like the thought of how spectacular life would be with a soundtrack.
The music of the 40’s has come in real handy over the last week as I retraced your steps. I listened to it while finding the old State theatre, visiting parks and monuments, and making my way to the neighbourhood your brother Joe and Phoebe lived with their children. It made it sink in even more just how utterly grateful I am to be here, on this journey. It was also with the help of a complete stranger who reached out to me yesterday through Facebook. Being a fellow temporary Londoner, she shared with me some of her experiences with loneliness, some advice on places to visit, and some things to really take in and enjoy in this moment. Like the fact that we’ve been here long enough to know certain things that tourists can’t quite grasp for the time they’re here, being able to find hidden gems, and being able to really call “the most amazing city on earth” home – even if it’s for a short time. The thoughtful message came at exactly the right time. It helped me put words to exactly what it was that I was going through last week. I was finding that every single day, I was falling a little more in love with your home. The Jubilee Line has a special place in my heart that will forever and always be the line that we shared. Or the fact that I have my very own favourite route that I take when in Central London. It takes me through Piccadilly Circus, Leicester and Trafalgar Square following the route along the Thames to Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament, turning around and waving to Big Ben before carrying on through the picturesque St. James Park making my way to Buckingham Palace. That very walk left me in awe one night last week, as I walked passed some buildings that were grandiosely posing for me as I stepped back to grab a snap. It took my breath away.
As I say in most of my letters to you: Thank you. Thank you for being born here, thank you for falling in love with Papa, and thank you for having the courage to leave a place that you loved behind. It makes me happy to get to understand now why you never lost your love for England, your British ways, or your ever so endearing accent.
With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,
Carly
xoxox

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April 12th, 1946

My Own Darling,
Very many thanks for the three lovely letters I got from you today, they were really smashing and I am the luckiest girl in the world to have such a wonderful, marvelous husband. Remind me darling to give you more than one special kiss when I see you, in fact remind me to give you a hundred. I bet by the time I finish you will be begging me to stop. I hope this finds you fit and well darling as it leaves me but terribly, terribly lonely for you. I had a letter from Eileen this morning and she seems to be in a real bad way, her sister who she lives with has to get out of her house by the 22nd of this month. She is going to live with her husband’s people but poor Eileen has no where to go, she was hoping she would be on her way but it doesn’t seem so, you see they are very much behind with women with children and what makes me so mad is things like I read in the paper to-night saying that if so many thousands of G.I. Brides don’t apply immediately they will have to cancel shipping they have arranged for May as there are not enough of them, but maybe it will be better because maybe the Canadian Government will get the ships. We are thinking of asking Eileen if she would like to come here but you know we haven’t got much to offer her. I still say that little prayer for you each night darling, I couldn’t fall asleep without it and I thank God every night that we met darling, but it must have been fate sweetheart because I am sure we were really meant for each other and that I was born for you and for you alone. I sure do remember that evening we bought the Sandwiches and walked home eating them, great big sandwiches, we sure are a couple of crazy kids, but I’d give anything in the world if we could only do the same right now. When I was with Doris and Vera the other night we were having an argument because we all wanted to pay the bill so Doris said “I bet Rene wouldn’t mind being penniless right now if she could be on her way to Canada to-morrow” and I sure wouldn’t. Do you think you could put up with a penniless wife darling? Right now the wireless is playing “I’ll Walk Alone” and I am darling until that wonderful day until you are walking beside me. Well darling, I guess that’s the news for another lonely day without you, it’s exactly three months ago since that Friday you walked in when we looked after Dixie, do you remember? Three months without you that have just dragged along but I am hoping and praying that it won’t be long now when we can look back at these lonely months to-gether. So sweetheart until then please God soon I guess I shall just have to have patience so I will say Good-night my darling. God Bless You and dream pleasant dreams. Good-Luck. Au-revoir. Hope to see you soon. All my love to you forever.
Your everloving wifey,
Rene
I LOVE YOU (in x’s)

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April 15th, 2013

Dear Grama,
I had big plans of writing a wonderfully uplifting letter to you all about my amazing weekend retracing your steps visiting parks, museums and historical sights. When I went to write it all down today though, I got that far too familiar feeling of loneliness that I couldn’t quite shake. I wrote out a letter, telling you all about my glorious weekend, but it was a surface letter, almost like small talk. I wasn’t being authentic, or real or even honest. I literally crumpled it into a ball and stopped myself just before launching it across the library. I turned the page in my notebook and wanted to burst into tears because of the fact that I, yet again, wanted to scream off the rooftops that I was “THE LONELIEST PERSON IN LONDON!!!” – (a wee bit dramatic, I know). I even took a break from the library, went to the park and passed every free bench to sit in the only one of the bunch with a person sitting on it. I engaged. I conversed. I connected. We all know that works for me.
It was when I got up and made my way back to the library that I realized I was utterly BORED of my loneliness story. I was sick of feeling this way and was NOT going to write a letter about it to you. It’s seems like a waste. After a quick pep-talk with one of my favourite people on the planet, I came to the realization that all that was needed was a shift.
Wanting to stay on the TRUTH train, I realized that along with this loneliness, there are other truths that are WAY more powerful to feel. Like the fact that what I truly miss about Adam are all of the little and simple things that actually are the biggest and best things a gal could ever ask for. His glance. His touch. His laugh. I long for being able to walk hand-in-hand in a park, to sit and have a coffee together and run out of things to say, or silently read books together on the couch in a place we call home.
It’s the point you so often make in so many of your letters. About you showing up a penniless wife and being the happiest girl in the world. About you wanting to get in “a row” with the war brides who say they’re not in a hurry to get to their husbands, as long as the money keeps coming.
In this very moment if someone offered me a big house, a nice car, a million dollars or the winning lottery numbers, I would say an easy: nope, no thank you, not interested. The only things I want are truly the simplest things you can think of. Togetherness, an embrace from the man I adore, and a commitment to live this kind of gratitude for one another for the rest of our lives.
Thank you for teaching me quite possibly the biggest lesson I’ve learned yet. That THIS is what life is all about. It makes the loneliness worth it.
With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,
Carly
Xoxox

Ps…I just heard news about the Boston Marathon tragedy. Yet another perspective shift that reiterates what is truly important in life. Hug those you love. Xoxo

Dear Grama

Lyons Corner House

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April 8th, 1946

My Darling Husband,

Many thanks sweetheart for the two lovely letters that were waiting for me when I got in tonight.  I hope this letter finds you in the best of health darling as this leaves me just dying for you.  I have just come in from being out with two other brides, we had quite a pleasant evening, let our hair down and had a good jaw.  We all seemed to be in better spirits tonight and full of rumours.  Vera, has heard from somewhere that she should be going about the middle of May.  She is about the same number as me so that’s not bad is it darling? Doris has also heard that the Ille de France is still taking brides without children so that also sounds good.  That’s all I’m living on these days darling, your letters and rumours but one of these days darling, P.G.E., I shall really get my sailing papers then we will be all set for perfect happiness.  We went to the Lyons Corner House (you love that place don’t you darling…anyway, it was somewhere to go and talk). We had supper then we went for ever such a long walk, right through St. James Park, we went past Buckingham Palace and had a good look at it as we kidded ourselves it would be the last time we would see it.  Doris it the girl who is going to Welland, she says its 14 miles from the border, I thought you were on the border, darling.  By the way darling, I weighed myself tonight and I weigh 9 stone, so I guess I have lost weight.  (You will soon be able to lift me).  But I guess I had better lose a bit more so as you can carry me over the threshold of our home, please God.  Keep wishing and dreaming me over darling, because with both you and me wishing and dreaming, we might get somewhere.  I’ve got now that I don’t care what they send me over in, a luxury liner or a cattle boat, anything as long as it takes me into your arms, darling.  A bride to-night said she hasn’t written to her husband for over a week and she was only married in December.  I don’t know how she can be in love with him and not write, I feel much better after I have written to you, I feel just as if I had had a good talk with you, but it’s a very, very poor substitute to talking to you darling, as well you know sweetheart.  I guess that rounds off the news for another lonely day today without my darling husband but all we can do is hope and pray that it won’t be long now.  The clothing coupons started today so I think I will treat myself to something this week.  Now I guess I’ll toddle off to bed, darling to get some more beauty sleep.  Good-night my dearest darling, God Bless You and may all your dreams be pleasant.  Good Luck.  Au-revoir. 

Your everloving wifey,

Rene

I LOVE YOU (in x’s) N.H.Wiebe

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April 9th, 2013

Dear Grama,

I was so excited to read that you spent some time in Central London.  I’ll take any excuse to spend a day wandering a place that thousands of tourists from around the world come to every day.  It’s especially easy now that the weather is getting nicer and we’re actually having quite a few sunny days.  Being in London sure does make me appreciate them when they come around.

This specific day I spent at a café in St. James Park called “Inn the Park.” As I was sitting having a wonderful lunch on the patio while I journalled, wrote out some postcards & read, I started to get curious about the “Lyons Corner House” that you spoke of.  After doing a handy google search, I realized that the place that you and Papa loved so much was no longer there.  It had been open from around 1909 to 1977.  I thought it would be great to find where it was when it existed and I at least knew it was on “The Strand.”

As I ventured up and down the famous street, I had high hopes that there’d be an old sign that one would imagine they’d typically find on English buildings saying something like “here stood the old Lyons Corner House.” Sounds like something that would be in a historically rich country.  Too much to ask? After a nice long walk looking buildings up and down as if I were sizing them up, I decided that I’d better ask someone or else I’d be doing this all day.  Going into a hotel to ask a concierge sounded like a great idea.  As I walked into a rather swanky hotel on the Strand, I brought out your letter and asked the man if he knew where the old “Lyons Corner House” used to be.  The middle-aged man’s eyes lit up as if I had brought back a sweet memory for him.  He went on to say that it was where the bookstore now stood, on the corner facing Trafalgar square.  I asked him if he had ever been there and what he remembered about it.  “Why yes,” he went on to say “my mum used to take me there as a young boy.  I remember having tea and great meals there.  It was a lovely place.”  As he finished, a curious look came over his face, probably due to the fact that a young gal with a North American accent would ask such a thing.  I told him my story, he said it was a pleasure to share his memories and wished me well on my journey.

My next stop was the bookstore, where I browsed the shelves, wandered the aisles and made my way up to the coffee shop on the second floor.  I ordered myself a tea and found a free seat next to the window.  I looked out at the spectacular view of the Admiralty Arch between Trafalgar Square and the Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace.  I took a few moments to imagine what it was like in the 40’s.  Whenever I do that, my mind always seems to change the colours of today, into black & white.  As I took a quick snap with my phone, changed the settings to black & white, and really took it all in, I thought about the fact that I was, yet again, sharing a view with you.

As I continued my walk through St. James Park up towards Buckingham Palace, I turned back to have one last glance of the mighty building that, I imagine, represented so much for you:  Familiarity.  Nostalgic.  Loyalty.  Home.

With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,

Carly

xoxox

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Dear Grama

A good laugh

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April 5th, 1946

 

My Darling,

Many thanks, sweetheart, for the two lovely letters I got from you to-day.  Thank goodness at least that we live in an age when we can send and receive letters because I think without them I would go crazy, and you are a real darling for writing so regular, remind me darling to make a special big fuss of you on that wonderful day when I see you again (as if I wouldn’t anyway).  I hope you are fit and well darling as this leaves me but just living for the day when I am with you again, P.G.E. Everything here is very much the same, no sailing papers yet but another 950 went to-day so I guess that makes it all the nearer.  Vera, one of the war-brides I have got friendly with, rang me up this morning to see if I have gone yet, so we had a little jaw over the phone.  She is the one who is going to Regina, she is a very nice girl and she sends me Canada’s Weekly every week.  I wish you could have been here more than ever this evening (if that’s possible).  Mum, Janey and me have all had the giggles to-night and we have been laughing at the least little thing, anyway a good laugh does cheer you up.  About insuring my luggage darling, I don’t think I will after all because I have practically decided to get another suitcase and not use my trunk at all so I can have them with me nearly all the time.  I sure hope nothing happens to the radio because I should be upset if anything does.  I’m sorry that your ship got smashed because I really liked that but I guess it can’t be helped.  I think our ‘little Summer’ has ended because it rained all day to-day and it was quite cold but that’s English weather all over as well you know.  It should have started to get warm over there by now, shouldn’t it? Well my dearest darling I guess that rounds off the news for to-day…I guess I’ll trot along now and get some more beauty sleep.  Good-night darling, God Bless You and dream pleasant dreams, Good-Luck.  Au-revoir till we meet again.  All my love to you forever. 

Your everloving wifey,

Rene

I LOVE YOU ALWAYS (in x’s)

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April 5th, 2013

Dear Grama,

I love the story about you, Janey and your mum having the giggles.  You’re so right…laughter is a great way to cheer you up.  It’s one of the beautiful universal acts that no matter what country you are in, or language you are speaking, there is no need to translate.  Laughter is contagious and can be exchanged without words.  I shared a giggle with a perfect stranger yesterday at the library.  There were about 15 of us in a quiet study room, surrounded by the words of many inspiring writers.  It was such an amazing place to get into the zone of inspiration.  Well, that peaceful ambiance was interrupted by a guy who was strangely oblivious to the fact that his phone volume was on…and every single letter he typed into the text message he was sending….was a loud annoying beep, bop, boop, beep beep, bop, boop.  The girl across from him sighed (quite loudly), put her book down, and gave him a disapproving look…that he didn’t seem to notice.  Her reaction was so comical that I couldn’t help but giggle.  I noticed that the guy sitting across from me was giggling, too.  It suddenly turned into the kind of giggle where you know you shouldn’t be and have to keep quiet.  The fact that he kept beep boppin’ away, without even realizing it was the ONLY noise in the room, made us giggle even more.  That short moment of laughter and connection, fueled something in me.  I didn’t feel alone.  I didn’t feel like a lone ranger in one of the biggest cities in the world, walking from one creative space to the next.  It made me realize that a small exchange, sharing giggles, and connection of any kind…makes the loneliness go away.  It made me start reflecting on the moments of connection that I had before and after that moment that re-fueled me.  The day before when I was at a coffee shop, the gentleman next to me asked me what kind of book I was writing.  First of all, let’s just take a moment to celebrate that! People are recognizing me as a writer (whoooo hoooo)! What came from our conversation was getting to tell my story, hearing his, and connection! Another moment was becoming a “regular” at a restaurant at the bottom of your street.  It used to be a bakery when you lived there and even has the original oven in the basement.  Well, I used connection again, to strike up a conversation with the waitress, who then insisted on introducing me to the other regulars that would love my story and be a wealth of knowledge, having been from the area for nearly 70 years.  Maybe he’ll remember you or your family! I was on a connection roll after that and on my way past the London Eye a spectacular photo op caught my eye at the very same time as a young tourist.  I looked at him and said “what a cool perspective! Great minds think alike!” (or something corny like that) As I walked away wishing him a nice day, he yelled out for me to “wait up.” We walked and talked and shared quick stories.  He was from Mexico and was on a tour of Europe.  He had one day in London.  He told me all about visiting Iceland and how in love he was with the musician Bjork (from Iceland).  He told me that a dream came true for him while he was there, and he actually met her.  I told him about my dream of being over here writing this book.  We wished each other well and I was off to the tube.  Re-fueled, energized and cheered RIGHT up! Connection is the key.

With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,

Carly

Xoxox

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Dear Grama

As you say it: “we had a real jaw”

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April 1st, 1946

 

My Darling,

Many thanks sweetheart for the two lovely letters that were waiting for me to-night, they sure brightened up my day.  I hope you are alright and well darling as this letter leaves me but terribly lonely for you.  I’m sorry I made a mistake on the front of this letter, I guess I must be in love.  I have just come in from the club, I met my two friends again and we had a real jaw, we are all getting so browned off with this waiting we are talking of making a demonstration (but I don’t suppose we will) anyway we are now going to meet every week to cheer ourselves up a bit.  They have already reached up to 28,000 which isn’t bad in two months, I think my number is about 40,000, that’s in women with no children and if they keep it up, it wont be so bad, but there is talk of them taking off some ships for private use which doesn’t sound so good but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  All these rumours are enough to drive one crazy.  I told the girls to-night I feel just like going home and having a real good cry, but your letters waiting for me cheered me up and I’m okay now darling.  I’m sorry for feeling so morbid darling, I’m not making it any easier for you, please forgive me.  I feel so mean when I hear from some of the wives (who have children) that they have waited more than six months, you see they are not so ahead with the ones with children as they can only go on the lower bunks.  I also had a nice letter from Mary to-night, please tell her darling that I’ll write to her to-morrow, P.G., and also send her one of our photos.  I’m glad you got on to a job that you like and I hope you are still on it.  Do you think your aunt will tell me how she makes pumpkin pie because I should like to have a go at it as you like it so much.  One of these days, P.G., I’m going to take up this cooking business real serious then who knows what will happen.  Frank Sinatra is just singing “You’re Worth Waiting For” and you sure are darling and one of these days, please God soon, we will make up for all the time we have waited.  Well darling I guess that rounds off the news for to-night so I guess I’ll retire for bed.  To-day was April 1st, maybe April will be a lucky month for us darling, I hope from the bottom of my heart that it will be.  Good-night darling, God Bless You and may all your dreams be pleasant ones.  Good-Luck Sweetheart, Au-Revoir.  All my love to you forever.

Your everloving wifey,

Rene

I LOVE YOU DARLING (in x’s)

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April 2nd, 2013

Dear Grama,

This letter came at the perfect time for me.  Reading it was just another reminder at how truly connected I feel to you through this journey retracing your steps.  At this moment in my journey, I feel as if we are sharing loneliness.  I had plans to spend my Easter weekend with good friends in Birmingham, which really did help with the adjustment of my mom leaving and being back to solo days.  Looking forward to the weekend helped me with that adjustment.

Yesterday, the same day it sounds like you experienced extreme loneliness, I had a bit of a hard day myself.  I think it was a combination of a few things – missing Adam so very much, missing my family who all got together for Easter dinner, and feeling the uncertainty of what the second half of my journey will entail.  I was able to see my whole family over FaceTime, which was so nice but sometimes this journey is hard.  I really am making it up as I go, and it’s just lonely & scary sometimes.  I do know that the answers lie in sticking to the plan, remaining open to my connection to you, and continuing to show up.

The reason I share my hard day with you, is because there were other factors that played into the experience that made for BIG-time learning and growth.  At the T.O.M (time of meltdown), I was with a dear friend who had just heard news that her grandmother, back home, had passed away.  She was 97, lived an amazing life, had a great family who loved her so very much…and it was MY turn to be there for this friend who was going through a loss.  You can’t help your emotions, and this is life.  T.O.M. was the very next day and there was no stoppin’ it.  That day, we planned to keep her busy, take her mind off things, talk about great memories of her gran & do some creative expression…like drawing and painting.

As I called her into the bathroom, the tears in my eyes were all it took, and into her loving arms I fell.  I didn’t want to go back to my apartment.  I didn’t want to admit that I had no plans until June.  I didn’t want to admit that I was lonely.  I also felt an overwhelming sense of guilt.  I wondered how I could be so selfish.  My Positive Patty inner voice that makes me feel like I can’t ever possibly feel sad, lonely or angry was screaming at me saying: “Carly! You have SO much to be grateful for! So what, you are alone!? You are in London England for gosh sakes! You should make EVERY day amazing because this is a ONCE in a lifetime! Don’t you dare be sad! You must be strong for your friend…feel this later…or better yet…never!”

Of course because of how amazing my friend is, she absolutely re-assured me that what she needed while going through this loss, was for me to be real, authentic, and BE exactly where I am.

The huge lesson that I am learning from your letter and my experience is the power of friends.  The power of sharing exactly where you are with them, being authentic and real with them and leaning on one another to cheer each other up.    And of course, having a “real jaw” helps any situation.

I also received an email as I sat down to write this post, which gave me the urge to really share what’s going on for me.  It said this:

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The loneliness epidemic

The next time you feel lonely, disconnected or unappreciated, consider that unlike many other maladies, this one hits everyone. And unlike other challenges, this one is easily overcome by realizing that you can cure the problem by connecting, appreciating and leading.

The minute we realize that the person sitting next to us needs us (and our tribe, our forward motion and the value we create), we’re able to extinguish their aloneness as well as ours.

When you shine a light, both of you can see better.

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Thank you, Grama…and my dear friend this weekend, for shining the light for me.  I hope by sharing this, it acts as shining the light for others.

With a granddaughter’s love & admiration,

Carly

Xoxoxo

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