My recent experience with Abigail’s letters left me thinking that maybe I should start small. Her thoughts were powerful and personal and helped her husband endure the absences. For Valentine’s Day, I decided to write a letter to my sweetheart. Except for a childhood penpal, the obligatory thankyous, and notes from camp, I wasn’t a big letter writer.
But it had been so long since I had written a letter to Steve, I had trouble starting. It was true that I loved Steve but I think the everydayness of our lives sometimes interfered with remembering how lucky we were to have each other. Putting him first everyday was difficult with two children who demanded more attention. And the children were louder.
When we were first married, it was so easy to plan every day around Steve. His favorite foods were always on my mind, his clothes were always clean and pressed for him, I would gladly watch whatever show he wanted to listen to. Just being with him made me happy. I needed to recapture some of those feelings. I flipped through our old albums. We were so cute. My hair was perfect in so many shots. I must have spent more time on it then. I dressed a little better. I could certainly do that again. I saw more me – an extra piece of jewelry, my beloved shoes, the matching purses. All me and still me but now there was less often me.
Before I wrote this letter, I need to reclaim myself. I would dress a little more like the “old” me and see if that would help. A few days after starting my experiment, I saw some changes. Steve loved the way I smelled; I had started wearing cologne again. I brought back some of the old me that made me feel younger again. I inadvertently smiled more and even caught myself humming while dusting. Mags mentioned that I seemed a little different but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. It was nice to reclaim some of that power.
Eventually, I wrote my love letter to Steve and it was easy. I easily recounted that I had fallen in love with him for all the good qualities he still had. Even better than that, I fell back in love with myself along the way.