What We Leave Behind II: The Postcards
Posted on April 25, 2013
I couldn’t resist. I thought about it and thought about it after Monday’s blog post and I finally decided to throw caution to the wind, borrow the postcards from my father-in-law’s nightstand for a few hours and type them up. They meant something to him for him to have kept them in such good condition all these years, so I figure they deserve to be preserved in this way, too.
Tuesday, July 17, 1962
D and I spent all last week in our trailer, while dad and R & Shirley came back down to Jackson and watched the store. I was sure READY for a vacation! Lovely. They got up north Sunday a.m. R and dad set nets Monday a.m., lifted last night, got about 70 perch. Real 3 oz ones! We started home 10:05 p.m., made several rest-stops for Pip, got home at 5:30 this a.m. We snoozed a couple of hours, had breakfast and came on down to the store. D stayed home (as he usually does mornings) to get the mail. Junk today. And STILL no word from YOU! Six weeks is a long time not to hear from you, dear. May I suggest that you get on the ball and get a note off to us SOON? I mean just so we’ll know you’re ok! I guess Kim and George are due home in less than 6 weeks; Hazel is so excited. Sharon is now working at Mission Hill Lodge (luxurious) in a gift shop. Makes $50 a week. Did I tell you Shirley’s going to have a baby in late September? (R wants a girl.) I haven’t lost any more weight. Doc and Jean are in Maine for a month.
Love Mom, Dad & D
R above refers to a cousin of theirs. I met cousin R when I was up north last year closing the trailer down with my father-in-law. Very, very nice guy and he still makes his living catching fish. He and Shirley came down for the memorial and he remembered me, which was nice and I appreciated his kindness. He was also extremely happy that my brother-in-law included a picture of the day cousin R took FIL out on the boat to set nets. It was the only time he could ever get him out, so he took pics to commemorate the occasion.
I should mention, too, that my FIL absolutely loved going up north and cousin R was (I believe) his favorite cousin. FIL had such pride in his voice explaining everything cousin R did with his business, how long he’d been up there, where all the various family members were, etc. Honestly, he was like a kid in a candy store!
Second Postcard (Picture on the front is the Mackinac Straits Bridge)
June 22nd, 1966
Familiar sight? We came up 6 days ago (Thurs, June 16) and will be going back probably the 28, so you know where we are if you’ve tried to call. D’s now a rabid fisherman with “flies.” He caught 2 dandy trout out at High Banks Lake yesterday evening. We’re very proud of them for sure! We had a superb 2 ½ hour shopping trip to the Soo this morning. Such fun! Dad feels somewhat better up here at the trailer. Weather’s beautiful.
Love Mom, Dad & D
An interesting bit of trivia is that there are 9 years between my FIL and his younger brother, D. I don’t think they were ever particularly close way back then because of that, but they did get a little closer later in life. Another interesting bit is that D’s firstborn daughter is a spitting image of FIL and D’s mother. It’s truly uncanny.
One last thing I’ll mention is a conversation my mother and I had this morning (yesterday). My father’s aunt passed away a week ago and for the first time that my mother can recall, she mentioned that Dad talked in his sleep last night. I’ve done that before, too, when a relative has passed away and woken myself saying “It was a pleasure to have known you.” I told her that perhaps his aunt was saying goodbye to him the same way. Our minds are more open to this sort of thing when we’re sleeping. She liked that explanation.
And the reason I mention it is because I haven’t really felt my FIL’s presence in the house when I’ve been there. Still, that’s not unexpected. He was the type of man not to dwell or say more than he had to. He may have uttered a quick “goodbye,” then took off for whatever was next. That’s something I could see him doing and explains exactly why I haven’t really felt him in the house.
That won’t be me. I’ll go for the long-winded goodbyes where the people I knew in life will probably start kicking the bucket long before I run out of things I want to say to them.
Because that’s my way.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
5 Responses to “What We Leave Behind II: The Postcards”
April 25, 2013 at 9:13 am
What a beautiful thing you have shared. It is truly lovely way to honor your FIL sharing fond memories.
April 25, 2013 at 9:31 am
I honestly hope we manage to find a few more of these postcards while we’re cleaning things out. They’re little snapshots of history that I’d love to read and possibly share.
April 25, 2013 at 9:27 am
Life becomes a blur of people, places, things, events that it is truly nice to be able to stop time for an instant and get a frozen-in-time, personal glimpse of someone now gone. I’m sure your FIL would be pleased to realize how you feel about him.
April 25, 2013 at 9:32 am
They reminds me of the letters you’ve shared, D, and from your latest book. I love that you’ve kept them and then published them. It really sets a stage for us to sit back and immerse ourselves in something we didn’t live, but can share in nevertheless.
Lloyd songal says:
April 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and post cards. They are like little time capsules. 😉