“I Just Called to Say I Love You”

I unintentionally made an “affirmation scroll” today. It started as a treatment (prayer), but as I poured my thoughts and feelings onto the paper, it kept getting longer and longer. When my heart and soul agreed on a stopping point, I assessed the final product, and had two pages of tightly squeezed words. This time I elected to use graph paper instead of lined paper, probably to satisfy the OCD part of my being. Additionally, I picked up a mechanical pencil instead of a pen; I should also note that I write in cursive. The combination of the three resulted in a long, error free, perfectly spaced declaration of what I know to be the truth of who I am. For some unknown reason, I aligned the pages so that the top page overlapped the bottom page. That is when I acknowledged that my work of art was indeed a scroll. I taped one to the other, rolled it up and used a “Thank You” sticker it to keep it from unrolling. I then wrote a short affirmation on the outside of it; now every time I see my work of art, I will read the outer affirmation as a declaration of the truth of its contents.

The impromptu scroll project took me to my box of cards and address labels, where I keep my cute “Thank You” stickers. As I shuffled things around, a card caught my eye. It had a bug sitting on a leaf, waving and the message bubble said “HI!” On the inside, it had a short note about sending a smile the recipient’s way. The note made me smile, because as I looked at it I thought of my Mom. Then I remembered I had a partial letter somewhere in the army of notebooks, notepads, and journals that occupy my house. My smile faded and a combination of a slight frown and sigh ensued. I fought off the frustration trying to rise within me; I annoy myself when I do not see a simple task to an end.

Unaware that I still had the card in one hand, I picked up my phone with the other hand. My intention was to call my Mom to apologize for not sending the letter I told her would be in the mail by Friday. At first, a call seemed like the best choice, of course this made me think of the song I Called to Say I Love You, because she loves the song and like any mother, she loves it when her kids call. However, I hesitated because historically I use to loathe calling her. The call would start all well and good but always ended up being a 1-2 hour bitch-fest. I would find myself spending the greater part of the call rolling my eyes, and defending my choices or my lifestyle. The call would not end until I would be fed up with her scolding or interrogation, and my emotional bank account was overdrawn. At which point I would deliberately say something that I knew she would perceive as absurd, causing her to voluntarily hang up.

You see, my Mom and I (I’m her only daughter) have had, putting it lightly, a tumultuous history. I will leave the details for another day because I am certain you do not have 2-3 days to be brought up to speed to our current relationship. Even if you did have the time, our history would have to be sipped in tiny amounts, as if you were sipping a scalding hot beverage (Yeah, it was that unpleasant). It took a five-year absence on my part, and a divorce to get us on track to a good relationship, for the first time in our lives. I cannot pin point what exactly changed. It might be I have changed, she has changed, or most likely, we both changed. Whatever the case, even though we have a long way to go still, the change has been a positive one, and that is all that matters.

However, for a brief moment I was frustrated with her for not embracing technology. I thought a text would be a quick and easy solution to my – I have not forgotten about the letter – apology. My frustration subsided when I looked at my other hand, which still held the card.   My smile came back, and in about 5 minutes tops, I had written my “text” in the card, addressed it, and placed the stamped envelope in the mail slot for my postman to pick up tomorrow morning. She will have the letter by Wednesday, since the First Class postal service to Phoenix is quick.   Sending the card is a two-fold solution, I did not have to call and potentially hand over a couple of hours (we are both long-winded) of my evening just to apologize about the delayed letter. In addition, I do not have to stress about the amount of time it will take me to finish the letter (which I will finish). I can now finish the letter in ease, and in a positive mood. Besides, to my Mom, the next best thing to getting a call from her kids, is receiving a letter from one of us.

So, what did the scroll have to do with this story? One of the things written in the scroll is, that my truth is I am someone who follows through to the end on things I start. I know this to be true, I just forget sometimes, and I get frustrated with myself. Then I turn around and scold myself (yes, just like my Mom used to) for not following through or for forgetting my truth. Just as I have to be patient with the rebirth of my relationship with my Mom, I have to be patient with the rebirth of my true self, and my scroll is a step towards that goal.

I leave you with this thought. Do you have someone in your life that would love to get a letter, card or quick note in the mail from you? Even, if they are tech savvy and it would be quicker to send them an email, would it put a smile on their face if you sent them something via “snail mail”?  If so… Do It!

I would love to hear what is on your mind; either about this post or about life in general, you can comment below or use the Send Me a Message contact page. As always, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my post.

~Laura

I Just Called to Say I Love You is song by Stevie Wonder from the 1984 The Woman in Red album.


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