“Letters from Mom”

Mom wrote me hundreds of letters and would often send me greeting cards with snipped comics or articles from newspapers or magazines she thought I'd enjoy.

Eleven years to the day before she died, mom sent a letter from her home in Gainesville, FL to my home in Studio City, CA. Around the border on the reverse of the envelope she penned several notes:

  • “You be careful out among them English…”
    This is a line from the Harrison Ford / Kelly McGillis movie Witness.
  • “feesh? you can eat feesh at a time like this?”
    This is a line from an episode of the Pierce Brosnan television show Remington Steele.
  • S.W.A.K.K (Sealed with a Knight Kiss) hee hee
    This was underneath a sticker of the mascot of her alma mater, the University of Central Florida.
  • “It ain’t the years, baby, it’s the miles…”
    This is a line from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • “BOOK”
    This is another line from Witness.
  • All of Mark McGwire’s hits for the last three weeks have been home runs! (11)
    Mom loved sports and was always following exciting streaks like that.

Inside the envelope, folded inside the note she wrote, is most of the front page of the Sports section from the August 12th, 2001 Gainesville Sun newspaper, highlighting the fact that the University of Florida Gators football team was ranked #1 in the Coaches and AP polls.

Along with that she had clipped a two-page article from Smithsonian Magazine titled “Meet Me at the Automat”, which I realize now I never actually bothered to read. On the top of the first page she wrote, “I thought the was really cool — hope you enjoy it”

Also included in the envelope is a picture of my much-younger cousin, who had just turned one. On the back of it mom wrote the date of the photo – July 4, 2001 – and this caption: “N   at 364 days old – He reminds me of you – not so much in looks, but in spirit – in the way he relates to the world around him – with awe, and delight! Love ya, Mom”

August 12, 2001
Hi, Honey!

It’s funny, but I think of you as Mr. Hi-Tech, send it electronically –

but I just came across a couple of things I thought you might like or be interested in and thought

I would send you some good, old-fashioned, from-a-tree, paper!

When I was at C     ’s the other day, we – hm – ended up talking about you a lot.

One of the things C      said echoed my own thoughts –

Writing on the back of N  ’s picture made me think about it –
Even when you were driving to Calif. you had changed. You were more like that person than you had been in years. It was a delight to me that you shared the wonder in your heart when you called.

C      said she thought you had changed and were now much more like the person she thought you were before.

Anyway, I have lots of respect for you, but I also know where the chinks are – You have always had the potential for greatness, some of which you have already converted into action, but your real strength will always be your heart – it was the heart of the toddler, the teen, and the man that always touches my soul.

And it will always be your best resource in dealing with life and the world. And every time you turn away from its guidance, you get off track.

Am I making any sense? I’m not talking about mushy stuff. I’m talking about honesty, integrity, vision, optimism, realism, caring, compassion, joy, freedom…

Ok, now I’m getting mushy.

As always,
I love you,