My father wrote letters to me; more often than any girl would. It was written with love. Neatly written in his very own hand but with severe curves, which could take time to read.
Today, I was submerged in a plethora of emotions, thinking back at those good old times. My father would use papers from the workbooks from my siblings; a one-liner and neatly summed up writing contained.
I put them in between my books and re-read them from time to time. At least, he’d enquire what he’d written to me, the next time we meet. So, at least, I’d read again before vacation time begun.
It was his handiwork so I have this feeling of attachments whenever I read his letters. In that way, the sudden long distance between us was easier to bear. It was his way of making us feel special.
Going back few years, we thought we’d be providing together for the family in anyways we could. I was blessed to find work in our locality. So we thought we’d be together and we’re happy lots.
But then I set out for University education in faraway land; more than 1500 miles from home, with bad connectivity. The dilapidated transport system, leave aside the very high airfare, could take us some four days, approximate, to reach back home.
Brief contents of the letters:
Occasionally, that envelope reaches me. The letters could be long while some are short and straight to the point. The long ones I called them sermons, and the short one my father’s wishes for me.
My father had, always, included quotations from the Holy Bible. His sermon summaries or base Bible verses are included. He wanted me to write back my thoughts base on the given verses.
In some of the paragraphs I was updated of our family financial status, family members and their performances in whatever field they’d undertaken. The neighborhood news, entwined with humor, was always a treat. I was always delighted to get hold of his letters.
I felt sorry because his letters could not comprehend me: in his love and guidance in the light of the Lord. I did things I’m not supposed to, sometimes, in some ways. But he accepted me through and through.
My father always mentioned he misses me a lot. He trusts me to stand alone and be true to our belief. To keep his teachings should be held more important. At first, when I failed I looked at his letters in regretting what I do.
That much impactful was the value of his words. His expectations and non-expectations were stated. He reminded me, time and again, not to worry so much about future.
There would times when my replies would be negative and unpleasant. My meager introduction in studying Political Science, as we’re busy with those trends of ‘Critical Analysis and Compare and Contrast’, might get reflected in some way.
My feel good factor:
My father doesn’t want to let me feel bad. He knows I was alone. He’d never write hurtful words. When I need correction he’d chose those extra sweet words. In that faraway land, he simply reminds e of his principles of home.
He reiterated his prayer for my well-being and even for my finding a good partner in life. Every morning and night they, not only him, they pray for us, he informed. Fear not! God must be with you, he said.
Your mother has always been beautiful, lovely, and gentle he wrote with a slight hue of humor. The quiet, kind, hardworking, and loveable character of my mother was once again appreciated. And I love this part.
When he told stories of character from the Bible, I would say just give me the text I have my Bible with me, jokingly, so that he might save time and energy.
Father wanted me to feel good whenever I read from him. And that’s the beauty of life without internet and telephones because let my mind wander to be with them.
About work and lifestyle:
Crop failure or status are a must tell. God has provided us this far so we’ll lived on, he encouraged, when crop didn’t do well. Let me put out one sample here:
You work hard; we’ll do the same, here at home. Let’s see how far we can make it. In the end, we must learn contentment in what we get. Be careful not to turn away from the path you’d followed since your childhood.
Whenever I wrote back I need to get him updated of the city where I stayed, my college lifestyle and the likes. What I had enjoyed about the pave and what not, are a must tell. This practice has enlivened me in many ways.
He always ended with a loving note which got me emotional at times. But I was warned before that it’s not for that purpose.
Living it Out
Some repetitive I was quick to point out, which my father said was because he wanted me to live it out wherever I am. The way it should be with reading the Bible and being living with and living it out.
Sermon outlines and my inputs are requested when Christmas or some special days approach. In this way, I’d rendered my thoughts for him, which also provide a good time for thinking on the Lord’s.
The letters looked worn out now. But they’re still with me: some in my mind and some physically. They are always special to me. I am undecided about putting it out, word to word.
I am thankful for the time he devoted in talking to me. He’d do anything for my well-being. But we too have clash of ideas, at times. My father always signed off his letters with benedictions.
In all these times, I rediscover his advises are always for my betterment. And I was sad I couldn’t follow all of them.
When we meet again I wanted to get more of him and his love. I am glad for his timely letters and his love for me.
That last time where I delivered eulogy at my father’s funeral program I did not shed tears because, deep in my heart, I believe he lived on in his Savior’s arm!
© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.