Last December I admitted to the world wide web that one of my end-of-the-year traditions is to write Mitch Albom a letter.
Mitch read my blog post revealing this tradition I’ve been steadfastly committed to for close to twenty years. (GULP – yep. I was 15 years old when I wrote my first letter!) This was his response:
Vanessa, this is Mitch Albom. I was so moved by your column and so humbled to be mentioned in such a way. I am grateful that my response to you back in grade 10 made an impact. I don’t know how old you are but I am imgining that was a little while ago. I also imagine that in more recent years, your thoughtful letters have not always brought such a swift respose. If so, I am very sorry. I do try to get to my mail, but it is a long, slogging process that involves other people before me. That is no excuse. Your thoughts – musings – are always welcome, and I am moved by the power of the letter just as you are. I try to imagine days when we wrote thoughtfully, instead of punching “u” for “you” while driving one-handed. I am glad to see your writing has blossomed into such excellence and am sure I had nothing to do with it. But I thank you for remembering me. Please keep writing. It’s not only therapy to you, but to me as well – and now, clearly, to others/ May God bless you and your family, and thanks for making my new year’s eve a lot nicer.- Mitch
It’s December 31st and I haven’t written my letter yet. It’s been collecting thoughts and words in my mind for several days now, but I haven’t taken the time to sit down and pull the words to the page. Here’s the honest truth: 2012 was a fu*&er of a year. In both great and terrible ways. I feel like 2012’s experiences have changed me.
Therefore, it follows that ‘reflecting’ on this year has been…daunting and scary and…almost cathartic. I’m doing it. I’ve done it for my writing life – in what turned out to be a nine-page manifesto of ‘what-is’ and ‘what-shall-be’. But outside of my writing life…well, I’m not sure how many pages the reflections will fill.
So, Mitch, hold onto your knickers, my writing friend. This letter may be lengthier than the others. Especially since your book ‘The Time Keeper‘ was published about two weeks before we lost my grandfather – my relationship with Father Time was pretty much rocked.
In any case, the point of this post is to welcome those year-end traditions that we need to continue to uphold. Especially if they exist within the realm of reflection…and perhaps change.
Who will you write to this year-end? Who will you thank? What does your heart and soul have to say about 2012 and what may come for 2013?
As much as my heart and soul are heavy with emotions, I know that once I write the letter and send it, I’ll feel ready. Ready for 2013. Ready to pull up my own knickers, unknot them (and they’re knotty) and stand tall for what will come, and for what I will strive to accomplish in 2013.
This new year feels different already.