I Have Been Meaning to Burn Your Letter

But it’s really all I have left of you

I have been meaning to burn your letter. Not letters, no . . . I’d written you hundreds, maybe thousands, over the years, yet I received one in return. One . . . I’ve kept that letter for nearly eighteen years. I move. It moves with me. It knows every space in which I’ve dwelled. It has its own personality, still reeking of you. Still holding you within its lines.

I thumbed over it the other day as I was going through my file, discarding decades-old greeting cards and tossing meaningless utterances from my gullible years. I almost threw it away. I looked at it and instantly, the pain that comes with having that letter slapped me hard on my face.

I should have listened to the harder me negotiating the benefits of letting it go. But I didn’t. And now, I am debating on if I want to waste lighter fluid and purified water on words that have lost their meaning.

I move. It moves with me.

Have they lost their meaning, though?

If I were to send a quick text message to you and inquired about the beats of your heart whenever I was around, would it be accurate in its detail? Were you always nervous — butterfly-bellied? Did I really . . . really make you feel alive? More alive than he did?

It doesn’t matter anymore, right? What is past is the past. But I go dumpster-diving into my past every so often and I meet you there. We fool around with our garbage — failing to clean it up.

I told one of my best friends I finally deleted your phone number — removed your photos from my bookshelf, stashed that stuffed frog somewhere I can’t find it, and she said, “Oh, really? Now, that is something I never thought would happen. How do you feel about all this?”

Were you always nervous — butterfly-bellied? Did I really . . . really make you feel alive?

I couldn’t answer her then and I cannot answer her now. I don’t know how I feel. At first, I felt relief. It was refreshing to take back my heart — my life. It seemed gratifying.

Now, I just . . . I am not numb. It is not the proper word. I am desensitized, maybe? I am no longer taken with you, but I still want to hold on to you. Does that make sense? And since I can’t have you — something from you, something genuine from you, will do.

I am stuck in this maze. I know the way out. I’ve been here before. You are always at the exit and I stall on getting there — knowing the toll I’ll have to pay will cost me everything.

You blew me away. I was dust. Mere particles for you to dispose of and dispose of, you did. Yet here I am, coming across an old letter that ruminated for nearly two decades and it’s still intact. What would love analysts say? Would they dissect this instance and talk about it during their “You Must Move On” podcasts or prime-time television shows? Are these still relevant nowadays?

I am stuck in this maze. I know the way out. I’ve been here before.

My mind tells me I shouldn’t harbor something that has so much of you in it. I shouldn’t. I said you would remain in these walls — I wouldn’t take you with me, not again. But this letter . . .

It’s really all I have left of you, and I’m not ready to let it go.

Not yet.


*Upon discarding some old things, and trying to declutter for the upcoming move, I came across a letter from someone I truly loved (still love) and one I struggle sometimes, to forget. In a way, I’d forgotten about it because it was hidden. It sparked this piece. Thank you for reading.



Originally published via Medium.

My Coworker Wrote a Letter for Me

And I didn’t know I needed it

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels

It isn’t often I get letters from people I care about and love, so when my coworker told me she’d written a letter for me, my heart lit up. She was self-conscious about letting me read it, reminding me I write and how it wasn’t written in a way I’m used to reading, but I had to tell her, “Don’t worry about that. This is from your heart. I will be happy just to receive it.”

And, I was. There is nothing that can hold a candle to someone sharing their heart with you — their overall concern for who you are and what you do. And to take it a step further — how you make them feel as a human being sharing this earth with them.

My coworker was vulnerable in this letter — baring all and making it known just how much she appreciates me. She let me know what she sees in me and how she has noticed my stumbles at work. They do not overshadow my strengths.

I see the love you have for Jehovah in your life and I deeply respect that about you. Also, I admire the compassion for people and your desire to be a force for change.

I know who I am

I do not question who I am and what I do or how I do it. But, at work, I am questioning how long I can do what I do and how I do it. I am drained and every part of me loud enough for anyone to hear is silencing itself. I used to say, “I am a people person,” but of late, this is running away from me. I am sick and tired of most people.

People are work — hard work, and there’s so much about us as a collective with which I am extremely exhausted from facing. The selfishness in the hard hearts of a few beings I encounter every week puts a foul taste in my mouth. It makes me not want to be in a position so closely connected to human beings.

Because of your compassion for people, you carry the burden along with love for the right thing.

I want so much for us as inhabitants of this world

I have it in my head that I can help change the hearts of my fellow brothers, sisters, and occupants of this world, but I am tasked with first knowing they must want to change. The depths of my soul yearn for us to be more loving, understanding, willing to work with each other for the overall betterment of this world, and to respect one another.

I feel defeated when I come across someone who flat out couldn’t care less about being a responsible member of humanity. The weight of it sits on my shoulders, seeps into my system, and layers itself into the recesses of my brain. Sometimes, I get physically ill from this.

My thought process is this: during a global pandemic, one should be willing to do what needs to be done in order to protect everyone. Many do not think this way.

I take more days off — especially mental health days because a large part of me recognizes coping with my job is much harder and there is no end in sight. It will not get any easier. The more I do what I do full-time, the more I wish to end this level of activity in healthcare.

These are stressful times, so we need to be there for each other no matter when or what.

A simple deed reminded me of the goodness in others

What this letter did for me is remind me I am not alone. My team — my friends see me and they know my worth. They acknowledge my struggles and are in tune with why those struggles occur. They care about my well-being and want to help make sure my sanity remains intact. They are sounding boards who will prepare a space for me, hold it, and allow me room to move in that space however I see fit.

You have become dear to me, and I need you to know you are a strong, kind, and caring person.

A letter showed me this: although my days are full of exhausting interactions with some of our nation’s most selfish beings, my efforts in dealing with them are not in vain. Someone sees how hard I am trying — how hard I have tried. And she took the time to put it in writing.

If you’re wondering how impactful your words can be for someone else; I’ll be the first to tell you, they can build you up when you have been torn down.

I needed this. I didn’t know it.


Originally published in C.R.Y. via Medium.