Loving You Has Been A Pleasure

Some people call it coincidence; others say it is contact from beyond. I’ll let you be the judge.

While searching in my Dad’s house for something he needed, I found a crumpled bit of paper tucked away toward the back of a dresser drawer. My instant reaction was to throw it away, but curiosity got the better of me. The paper seemed yellowed and it did have writing on it, so I slowly began unbundling it.

It took a while, but in the process, I recognized my mother’s handwriting, so it became even more precious to me. She had passed away nearly seven years ago, and I became curious to see what this was. Eventually enough paper, however, had been smoothed to make me stop: I recognized a sentence. I had seen it before. “I haven’t written a letter in years.”

This was the opening sentence to a letter my mother had written me in 1986 for my high school senior retreat. The more I unwrapped the letter, I understood this was a draft version of the final letter she sent me. How it got in the dresser crumpled into such a small size, I will never know.

When at last I finished, I was holding the draft of a letter written 28 years ago. Being a historian, I relished this moment. It being from my mother made it even more precious.

Near the end, however, was a line crossed through, even though I could still read the sentence. It never made it to the final draft, which I have since checked. It’s a simple six-word sentence that touched me instantly and brought me to tears. “Loving you has been a pleasure.”

To every person who’s even been a son or daughter, my wish for you is that you know and feel the sentiment behind those six lovely words. Not all dads or moms are the same, but hopefully they have shown some of that love that my mother gave me so unreservedly. An extraordinary woman showed me love and formed the person I am today. I hope you have or had something like that in your life too.

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