My baby– wrote me a letter. Tracy Morgan? The envelope, please?

Have you ever questioned the power of the written word? In a single sentence, Tracy Morgan removes all doubt.

Literati,

It is always a pleasure when someone new enters what our dearly departed diva, Peggy Dobbs, referred to as “The Playground” (Peggy?  Are you up there watching?) It is especially pleasing when the entry is so well written, and so moving. Before you get to her story, here is a reminder that the contest closes the ides of March, and there is still time to enter. You may enter up to three times.  Here is the link to the contest, which I do hope all who read this will post on their FB or tweet, reminding folks of the deadline. http://awordwithyoupress.com/2016/02/14/at-last-a-new-contest-love-lost/

And now, please welcome Tracy Morgan with her entry:

The Letter

by Tracy Morgan

My hands trembled as I stared at the handwriting; it had been twenty four years since I had seen him and nineteen since he died. How this envelope, in his handwriting, came to me after numerous cities, countries, lifetimes was beyond me, but here it was, yellowed and tattered by age. I continued to study the instantly recognizable scrawl.

He was different things to different people; professor, brother, father…father, not daddy. His youngest daughter had been looking for me. I knew he’d written letters to everyone in his life that would be mailed when, if, he ever died, but I also knew I’d never see mine. With all the moves and the bitter ending, I knew he had either burned it or the post office would never find me. Six months after I left I got a picture in the mail, him looking dashing in a tuxedo, written on the back, in that handwriting, “I clean up pretty good. See what you’re missing.” That was it, nothing more, just a quick jab at me for leaving. I didn’t provide a forwarding address when I left that house, cutting all ties to him and everything in my past.

His baby had been determined to find me. Her email said that it was selfish; she knew that I was his last relationship before the cancer took hold. She was clearly looking for answers to the questions in her own mind about the man who became a father for the last time far too late in life to be a daddy. I didn’t think I could help, but then she mentioned the letter. She had kept it in hopes of finding me. We had twelve tumultuous years together and although I was young I knew I needed to break free. The age difference was partly to blame, but when I look back, I was just too much of a romantic. Now, I had to deal with not only my own feelings of regret, if that’s what it was, but be questioned by someone desperate to quell theirs.

She met me at Starbucks and handed me the letter. Her words came flowing out of her like water from a dam that had just burst. Was he as funny as she remembered? Was he a curmudgeon in all things or only because he was her father? Did I ever read his screenplay about the English pilot? The memories flooded my brain. These were things I had put away long ago, now tumbling over into the wash. I did my best to answer her questions and told her I’d have to email her more as I remembered. She left with an assurance that I’d reply to her emails.

I stared at the envelope. These letters were his ‘last word’ to the people in his life, his critique of them, his praise of them, his judgement.

I opened it carefully, unfolded the page and the tears fell.

“YOU were the love of my life.”

***

 

 

20 comments

  1. Michael Stang says:

    A clear and serious message that love will find you in the end. Written when as you least expect it, you are a talented writer Tracy. Welcome to the show.

  2. Miryam says:

    Romance is not always perceived as such…. My husband B brings me my tea in bed, & when he leaves early before I’m up, he places 2 bags of Earl Gray in my favorite mug on the counter for me to add hot water. This small gesture is romantic & reeks of love.
    A touching story that echoes the fragility of life.
    Wonderful.

  3. Maria Young says:

    Tracy!!! That was beautiful!! You can live next door to someone for years and still never know all the wonderful talents they possess. Well done. Bravo, girl!!

  4. Jon Tobias says:

    The ending packs a nice punch. What I like best about it is the mystery. Who is to say that the letter our narrator holds is sincere? How much do we count as true because we need it to feel true, especially in times of loss? Really great read.

  5. Monica Brinkman

    First of all, welcome. Fine piece. Without getting sappy, I must confess a rush of memories and still unresolved feelings rushed to my mind and heart as I read the story. That is a sign of excellence.

  6. Thornton Sully

    All of you folks visiting our site: Here is a reminder that our contest closes the 15th of March. If you have not yet entered the contest, here is the link to do so: http://awordwithyoupress.com/contest/at-last-a-new-contest-lost-love-it-is-valentines-day-after-all/
    Please help this community of writers grow by posting this on your website or FB, invite your friends to enter the contest and leave comments for all the entrants. You can enter up to three times: great news for the promiscuous among us who have more than one “first loves!” And you could win a mystery trophy and Nook or Kindle device… just sayin’.

  7. Diane Cresswell says:

    Welcome to the playground Tracy. And from what you just wrote – I do believe you fit right in. You wrote a beautiful story. Your words of depth brings in love in one of its many formats. Never lost, never forgotten. Well done. Look forward to more from you.

  8. Tiffany says:

    Fresh meat! Fresh meat! And such a savory submission to the playground. I am trying to make it a point to wait to comment until I can read the story as just that. No knowledge of the author, the context, the side jokes, and here you come Tracy, with a multifaceted scene that I feel, from the writer/the daughter/the dead love/the letter… each a character well presented. THIS is the why of why AWWYP has such long towers (get it Thorn… get it???). I digress. Awesome story. Simply inspiring.

  9. Tracy Morgan says:

    All, I have been overwhelmed with all the complimentary comments. I was going to thank each of you personally, but since I’ve been traveling for work, I haven’t had the chance. I feel so honored to be among all of you however, now I have a new fear…..the second submission! Your comments are greatly appreciated and I hope in my future missives I am able to continue to grow as an author.

  10. Mike Casper says:

    Great. Another writer on the scene who will make it all but impossible for me to win a contest. LOL Welcome to the playground, Tracy. Your story was wonderful, and you’ll fit right in.

  11. Pam says:

    The last sentence took my breath away! I’ve always felt that just because somebody doesn’t love you the way that you think they should, doesn’t mean that they don’t love you with all that they have.

    Sometimes, what they have to give just isn’t enough.

  12. Laura G says:

    This one really hit me. The clear, simple way you told the story, built the plot with the daughter and the letter. The long musings and conversations of the women, juxtaposed with the silence of the man who couldn’t say enough at the time. Then in the end he says it all, but in a characteristic way. He says it straight, and too late…But it’s not too late. Now you know he loved you, and his daughter knows more of who he was through your connection. And that is worth the world.

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