Tag Archives: 12 days of love letter writing

We’re broken, Pink. We’re full on broken.

ps i love you mailbox

[part one]

Some days, I wonder if you can send Christmas cards to heaven. Mine are sitting shrink wrapped on my coffee table, ready to be signed, sealed & delivered.

I’m yours. I hope you know that. I am yours.

I’d like to send him a Christmas card so he knows where to find me now, amidst all the clutter & chaos of shoppers & savings & sweaters & red Starbucks cups.

I am here.

I want to believe he cares: I have newness in my life brighter than the evergreen tree in Rockefeller Plaza and he cares. Right? Right? Of course he cares.

Instead, I am the person he could learn to love again if Pink pinned him up against a wall and said, “Come here. Come here and just give me a reason, just a little one’s enough, why you stopped loving me?”

We’re broken, Pink. We’re full on broken.

[part two]

I love sending Christmas cards. In the weeks after the mailman unloads the blue express drop box across the street from my apartment, I imagine them being stuffed into mail crates and the backs of trucks & vans before finally, finally landing in someone’s hands.

Most of the people I send Christmas cards to don’t spot me squeezing oranges in the grocery store on Saturday mornings. They haven’t watched my hair grow out. They don’t know where I work or what socks I wear when the temperature dips too deep.

But they loved me once. We once swapped stories in my kitchen with the light dimmed over the table. We once dished ice cream into bowls or screamed at football games or danced on the bay window in my family room.

We knew each other then. And so they get a Christmas card.

 [part three]

This holiday season always hits me like the only house in the neighborhood without Christmas lights or a fir tree in the family room. It hits me like a family room without a family.

For some, it’s time for togetherness. For me, the loneliness of loss starts to sync itself up with my iPhone calendar: one funeral here, another one there. Let me pencil you in as soon as I’m done crunching the cemetery gravel beneath my heels.

In the weeks between Thanksgiving & Christmas, I write love letters to strangers. One organization always warms my heart: More Love Letters. This year, I’ll spend 12 days finding the words for people who need it most. Like me, they’ve lost something or someone or some hope at a time when the bright lights are dotting their cul-de-sacs and stringing their streets.

It’s my way of sending them a Christmas card. Maybe, maybe I can’t ship one to heaven. He won’t have my return address printed and propped up on his mantel.

He can find me here. He can find me if he wants to.

I hope he knows, deep down, that I’m still his. And on days like today, when the jolly songs start playing & the lines at Target start growing, I remember him.

I remember him & know, sure as ever, that even if he’ll never step foot inside my new life, he can find me any time he wants.

This hole you're in? It's not so mighty.

Please Note: As today’s featured blogger for More Love Letters, I wrote this for Madeline, a high school student who started homeschooling herself last winter after falling behind in her studies because of her depression and anxiety. Winter is particularly tough for her and she’s really in need of some inspiration that things will get better. More Love Letters is running the 2nd Annual 12 Days of Love Letter Writing through tomorrow (Dec. 14). Join me?

Dear Madeline,

I’m going to tell you a story in the hopes that, despite the fact that I have only half a decade or so on ya, it sparks some hope inside you.

Three years ago, I came close to dropping out of college. Not forever and not for lack of motivation—I had spent most of that semester cramming my small self into a study corral for five six seven hours at a time.

chalkboard-black-mightyhole

I was depressed. Deep down inside my bones. In the hole in my gut. In my tired fingers as I read and reread the same statistics problems. While every other twenty-year-old was out on the Quad throwing Frisbees in the April sun. I was sinking into myself and focusing on my grades rather than admit that I couldn’t eat anything without straight up feeling bad about it.

So I know what that feels like, when your health comes trampling all over your ache to just be fine just fine. Just be happy. Just be calm.

Anxiety has held me hostage for my entire life and depression almost lost me a semester. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to lose your spark and your spunk and your hope that this hole you’re in? It’s not so big. It’s not so mighty. It’s not doing anything but keeping you from ever seeing the sun.

We worriers and anxious ones like to pick ourselves apart like character traits in dating ads. We think that there is black and there is white and there isn’t any room for grays. We can’t be happy if we’re sad. We can’t be strong if we’ve broken. We can’t be proud if we’ve had to yank ourselves out of school and put our health first.

But that’s what you did, lady. You said, “I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to stick around. I’ve got to start demanding some sunlight when I throw open my curtains every morning.”

And I would hate for you to focus on the rain. I’d hate for you to worry about the snow.

I’m going to say this because I know it well: when we worry, when we’re anxious, when we’re depressed, it’s like we’d rather sit up and see the darkness than wish for light. It’s like we’re afraid to want something better because if we don’t get it, if better doesn’t shine so brightly, we’ll feel worse.

But life is all risk and reward. It’s leaping into the light expecting your shadow not to cover it. It’s thinking about how much lay ahead, how much you have yet to just relish for a couple decades. How many memories you’ve yet to dwell on.

I hope you find the good. I hope you remember the bad and let it make you stronger and I hope you never ever let anyone make you feel bad for putting your health first.

Stay tough. Stay caring. High school is just the beginning. There will be great and mighty big days ahead. And you will smile again. Oh, how you’ll smile.

With Hope & Love,
Kaleigh

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When are the letters due to the post office? Within one week of today. Address: ___________’s Bundle, PO Box 2061, North Haven, CT 06473