March 7, 2013

I did finally respond to the woman who was like a second mother to me growing up, who recently got back in touch with me.

What I ended up doing was to write her a letter, as she had to me.  I think snail mail has its advantages.

After thanking her for the words of sympathy and condolences, I described my reaction to the card (first joy, then concern) and talked about the consequences to my family of not having them in our lives after Willy died.  And how I took a different approach to my life instead, how I am grateful to the love she and her family shared with me while I was growing up, which allowed me, I think, to be a person who could take the approach I have.

And then I said I was trying to think of a way of re-connecting that I would be comfortable with.

Then I wrote of how I think of her fondly when I drive and talk to other drivers as she did when I knew her [she taught me how to drive, in her large and yellow station wagon;  interestingly, my mother-in-law drove an even larger yellow station wagon when I met her — maybe it was the fashion then, in the late 1970s, early 1980s], and then I closed with something again about trying to figure out what to do, and in the meantime, Love, Diana.

I have no idea how what I wrote will come across.  It was honest, it had affection in it but also wariness.  And no, I don’t know what to do.  But I didn’t want to not respond; when somebody puts themselves out there, I don’t want to hurt that vulnerability.

It’s her call, of course, how she reacts to my response.


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