This will be a short post, because I have exactly 15 minutes until this episode of Wild Kratts is over and the boys are running in here asking me “what do we do now?” (it’s exhausting being the social coordinator for these boys, and with their dad having been gone all weekend, I’m about out of entertainment ideas…)
Today I wrote a letter to my patient. I’d agonized about it for a few days, (or was it almost two weeks?) trying to figure out just what I would say to this person who shares my blood.
What if she doesn’t feel as strongly about this as I do?
What if she’s doing worse?
Should I tell her why I registered?
Her note was very short. I am (obviously) very wordy. Will I overwhelm her?
How can I write what I want to say without telling her something I shouldn’t? (there are strict rules about what we can say in these letters to preserve anonymity)
So, finally, I sat down and I just wrote. I told her my age, that I’m an engineer, and that I’m a mom of three boys. I told her that I didn’t know how to write a letter to someone I have never met, and that I wasn’t sure what to say. And then I told her about Bean. Without mentioning his name. And without adding a lot of details. Because details are not for when you are writing something that is going to be reviewed, translated, and words possibly blacked out (her name was blacked out on the card she sent me).
I told her that I feel lucky to have had this opportunity (at least I hope I said that, because I meant to), and that I hope to be able to learn more about her and her family someday.
Two pages. I could have written twenty. Two is still a lot, considering I got three sentences from her in the first card she sent.
Oh, I hope I don’t overwhelm her.
Oh, I hope she gets this faster than that first card she sent to me (I got a Christmas card for St. Patrick’s Day).
Oh, I hope she’s doing okay. Actually I hope she’s better than okay, I hope she’s doing great.
In the end – I am not second guessing myself, nor will I let myself review or rewrite this letter. I am not even going to read it again. I’m putting it in an envelope and mailing it off to DKMS.
Ironically, except for my husband, the last person I wrote letters to was Bean, way back in college. Nobody writes letters any more. We all send these instant electronic communications, without a second thought (or sometimes a first thought). It’s kind of refreshing to sit down and hand write out a letter. Those letters from my husband and Bean are some of my most prized possessions. I don’t have the emails that Bean sent to me, those were lost with my university email account long ago. But I have the paper letters, and I cherish them.