Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Writing 101 – Open Letter to Ed

on September 17, 2015

Dear Ed,

I’m sorry I missed celebrating your 100th birthday in June. Since I moved away I’ve thought of you often. I can picture the way you looked when I met you twenty years ago. You wore, as always, your white hair in a ponytail that matched your beard and your artistic spirit. You had a wonderful tweed jacket you often paired with a paisley turtleneck. I never told you that I had one just like it that I ordered from Lands’ End. I didn’t wear mine to church because we might have worn our matching t-necks on the same Sunday – not that it would have been a terrible faux pas. We always talked about the books we were currently reading. You introduced me to the ingenious spy novels of Alan Furst. Your annual Christmas creation of a calendar-photo gallery-arts review keep me up to date on the best new books, movies and plays. I marveled that you traveled to New York to see all of Wagner’s Ring Circle in one week. I remember that you stayed at the YMCA. By then you must have been in your 90’s and hadn’t slowed down much. Your first concession to aging was to get a Leki hiking staff which you never called a cane, but found helpful in walking. When I developed a knee problem I bought one just like yours. It lives in my coat closet for when I need it.

When you gave in a little to the encroachment of time I got to know you in a different way. For years you walked to church but the ten blocks was getting to be a bit too much for you. You could still drive but your old Toyota had engine problems which your son promised to fix but never got around to. I suspect this was easier for him than suggesting that you quit driving. My husband and I lived nearby so we began to give you a ride to church with us. You and I got to know each other as people gradually transitioning to “old age” though we certainly would not have confessed to it. You let me do little things for you, like carry your cup of coffee to a table when the congregation gathered for refreshments after worship. We became simply friends.

I miss you Ed. You taught me to enjoy the wonder of being alive. I always said I wanted to be like you when I became vintage-aged. I’m working on it.

Love and best wishes.

Your friend

21 responses to “Writing 101 – Open Letter to Ed

  1. YvoCaro says:

    It’s beautiful! Having recently lost a dear friend it brings tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  2. Lovely. I know this is an assignment but it is so loving, I hope you mail it to him

  3. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks. I am going to mail it to him. I was planning to send a card anyway and this assignment came along at just the right time.

  4. Casey says:

    My grandfather would have been 100 this summer. He was much like your Ed! I’m so glad you’ll be sending this to him. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Luanne says:

    What a lovely letter..

  6. rosemawrites says:

    SO heartfelt. So true. So honest. Kudos! 🙂

  7. Recalling cherished memories and expressing gratitude to friends and family no longer with has been added to my 2016 Bucket List. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I would mail it right away. You are quite right that he might not be around much longer but he may live a few years more. Who knows?

  9. J Lapis says:

    WOW, this is lovely.

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