Mom: I realize now, that in order for me to see and know myself, I need to be able to see and know you.
My aging father had finally put his foot down last April: “You need to get over here and clean out this attic.” Sitting there in the sweltering desert heat rifling through dusty boxes and plastic tubs, I discovered neatly-organized, chronologically stacked shoe boxes full of letters my deceased mother had written and received over her lifetime. Here were letters she’d written to her parents who lived thousands of miles away, letters to my father while they were courting and he was in residency, and even glossy seasonal postcards from her favorite football team The San Diego Chargers.
I felt a secret thrill in discovering these boxes, as well as a bittersweet longing for her. I was taking such a deep look into a private part of her life that I never had access to while she was alive. What mysteries were hidden in these letters? What would I find that had, until now, been carefully tucked away in the attic?