This title is symbolic of course, because who of us sends letters anymore?
It was about twenty-six years ago and my mother was two years dead. I have decided to send a letter to my dad, Abba – a letter that came from the depth of my psyche, one that spoke of the good and the bad of our relationships, which was always a very loving one, yet unexpressed.
We were not fond of emotional expressions, unless we were discussing politics, and then all hell broke loose, it was acceptable in political arguments to show feelings, but not in love.
And after years of therapy the letter was written and sent. Mail was slower in those days, but a week after sending it I started calling my dad and pestering him, wanting to know if he had received it. “No”, was the answer; and I was getting anxious. Did it get lost? Did I not put enough stamps on? But I decided to wait patiently, which is against my nature …
The call came late at night, it always does – my sister’s voice telling me to come home. “Abba’s dead”.
I get on the plane, arrive as quickly as I can, and she takes me to his house, my house. In his mail box, waiting – there’s a fat white envelope, my letter, the one he never got to read. Seeing the letter there was more painful than experiencing his death.
The words that were not heard; the message that was not delivered; not having him read “I love you” was more than I could bear.
I love you, Abba