A Note on Notes

I’ve been trying to be very intentional about writing notes and cards and letters. In fact, in the last month I’ve mailed seven. None for the sake of just sending a card – all because I wanted those seven people to know, “Hey. I’m thinking about you. This card is cute and so are you”. And there are certainly more to come. My personal goal is to send at least two a month, but the sky is the limit when it comes to something as important as postal love.

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 7.38.32 PM.pngI say all the time, AND IM NEVER JOKING WHEN I SAY IT, that my dream job would be to work in a stationary store. That’s it. Small dreams McGee over here. But I don’t know what I love if not letters. Timothy obviously, but besides him?! To me, letters are the best way of showing love. They’re how my mother showed love. When I first moved to Memphis and was so so lonely, my mother mailed me a card every single week. Sometimes nothing would be in it except a quick “love you!” sometimes it would be covered with her sweet handwriting hoping I’m okay. My stationary box (a yellow polkadot suitcase that Timothy gave me for our very first Christmas together – treasure holding treasure) very much resembles the secretary drawer that my mother had full of cards, all organized by occasion. For me it’s all of it: taking the time to pick out a particular card, to write a personalized letter with your own hand and pen, to tenderly add a stamp as you smile thinking of the cherished and loved person behind the name written across the front  – these things are so personal.

My hope is that when you, my friends, receive a card in the mail that you feel all my intention and love within that envelope. Adult friendships are so… weird, and I feel that there are so many people I am wild about – CRAZY EVEN – that I just so rarely see because life is so busy, and sometimes so hard. But when I write someone a card, when I think really hard about which stamp to use on the envelope, I feel connected to them. And that’s really all I ever want.

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Sweet bug,

I had no idea how long we would be together the day we first met. I didn’t know I would move to a new state to take care of you, that I would be at your 1st birthday party and then your 2nd. I didn’t have a clue that babysitting you once would turn into a nearly two year long friendship. You were supposed to be a temporary arrangement while I worked on other artistic endeavors. Be a nanny for a second while everything else got worked out. And ultimately that is why we’re parting ways now, as much as I adore you I need to explore other things, but my plan was never to spend two years going to parks and swim lessons and play dates and bookstores.

Even though that wasn’t my plan, I have loved it.

I have loved watching you grow; grow taller, grow more curious, grow smarter, grow funnier. When we first met you were just learning to sit up by yourself, now we chase each other through water parks. You have grown so incredibly handsome and so incredibly cuddly. You are busy, inquisitive, serious, and an incredible dancer. You are cautious, but you are also the perfect amount of brave. I love watching you carefully approach slides and ladders and puddles – unsure at first, skeptical at first, but then courageously taking that first step.

You’re ornery, too. You may be cute and you may be sweet, but you are ornery. You have challenged me so many times, and even defeated me a few of those times. You are learning how to be, how to act, how to accept the answer “no”. You are testing the waters. “Do I really have to walk by myself? Maybe I can get her to carry me. Let’s see.”

These lessons have been hard, but for every tough day of constantly repeating “don’t throw your cars” , “say please instead of shouting at me”, “stop drinking the bath water”, there have been even more tender moments. Dancing in the living room, rubbing noses during nap time, tickle fights, wet kisses. These moments are more than I can stand. You are so sweet, so precious. The way your body weighed down on mine when you finally submitted to sleep after (what felt like) hours of rocking. The way you laughed when I tickled your legs. My heart melts at the thought! 

You and me, we’ll still see each other. I will still make sure to meet up with you on play dates, trips to the park, birthday parties. Because you, my silly goose, are embedded in my heart.

I hope you grow up so full with love that you pour it into everyone you meet. I pray you defend the weak, stand up for right, and know that success isn’t something monetary. I pray that you know that you were not just created by a God who is distant and cold, but instead are actively loved by a God who died for you. I pray that you know true hope and love and grace, because you know it in your heavenly Father.

It’s been a joy dancing with you ♡ I love you, sweets.

 

 

Not So Secret Love Letter [4]

“I am going to write love letters to my friends & family members & who knows, maybe chocolate chip cookies, just because I think they are all each really wonderful and worthy of love letters sent to them every minute, every hour. I won’t use their names because some aspect of this tryst should be private, but even if you – the reader – don’t know who I am specifically writing about, I want you to still know that these incredible people exist.”

Today is your birthday. It’s a special birthday because it’s the last one you’ll have with your current last name. Wouldn’t you know it, some lucky dude has finally snagged you up. Albeit not the same lad we thought for sure you would marry back when we were in 4th grade, but that’s all right – I can be wrong once. This upcoming year holds some of the biggest life changes to date for you, but when I think of you and your friendship I’m reminded of something that has never changed. Our friendship has ebb’d and flowed but it’s always been present. Since first grade it’s always been present. You take up most of my memories when I think of my life as a whole. Even though it’s been years since we’ve lived in the same town and spent any real time with one another, I still would bet money that you know me better than anyone I have ever met. You were by my side in such formative years —  you saw me at all of my awkward stages. Kudos for sticking around through my awful 7th grade hair style. Slick parted down the middle? I could die. Together we sold girl scout cookies, bought trunk loads of cheap crap from Claire’s, had major crushes on total hotties, sang NSync, Britney Spears, & Blink 182 really loudly, visited the emergency room (again, kudos for helping me pee after I passed out and bashed my head), and went through a pseudo punk phase which mostly consisted of buying shirts from Hot Topic (I don’t.. whatever). Your house was the first place I drove when I got my very first car. You were always who I called when I lost grandparents, pets, or just my mind. I think that we could not speak for 15 years and you’d still be the first person I’d call when I was devastated or got engaged. Note – my fingers are turning white they’re crossed so hard in hopes that it doesn’t take me 15 years to get engaged. There were seasons in our friendship that I know I wasn’t fully present — I was flighty at times, and I apologize for that. Hindsight is 20/20 and I see you’re the friend that never once let me down. I’m sorry I wavered and gave more attention to relationships which have proved less dependable.

I remember when you first told me you wanted to be a nurse. Well, I don’t remember the specific instance, but I remember you knew all the way back in elementary school. And now here you are. You worked hard and you did it. And we talked about weddings and getting married, and now you’re getting ready to do that too. How honored am I to get to stand beside you. I realize I was growing up right alongside you all these years, but I’m so proud of you and the woman you’ve grown into.

We have been friends for approximately 18 years.  This is the 18th year in a row I’ve gotten to tell you “happy birthday”. 18 birthday cards we’ve exchanged. 18 years of being your friend. What an incredibly huge honor — to have known you for 18 years and to look ahead and see the promise of so many more.

I love you.

[So, I mailed you a card obviously forever ago but I wrote the address wrong like a nincompoop and now you’re going to get it late. But I can’t stand the thought of you imagining that I forgot your birthday and mailed it last minute and that’s why it’s arriving late. I’m far too type A for such nonsense. Plus I adore you and would never forget your birthday]

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Not So Secret Love Letters [1]

I have decided to embark on a very public tryst.

I am going to write love letters to my friends & family members & who knows, maybe chocolate chip cookies, just because I think they are all each really wonderful and worthy of love letters sent to them every minute, every hour. And it’s true I have a drawer full of stationary sets and I love hand written notes more than anything — but for these, this blog will be the platform. I won’t use their names because some aspect of this tryst should be private, but even if you – the reader – don’t know who I am specifically writing about, I want you to still know that these incredible people exist. 

And so, here is the first Not So Secret Love Letter :

My sweet, sweet most precious friend — I’ll never understand how there can be so many states in between us. How I can be “here”, and you can be “there”. Yours are the arms I most like to link mine with. You are the soul that makes mine feel at home. You’re also a total bombshell, but that’s besides the point. I think you are one of the most sophisticated women I know. Even the quirky things about you are sophisticated. Even the way your hair poofs up in the morning is sophisticated. You taught me more about kindness than anyone has before you or since you. I can remember specific instances where I asked you why you were wasting your time helping someone in a way that I felt was useless, and you shrugged and said “It’s just an opportunity to serve”. And you didn’t say it in a “Jesus Juke” type of way. You weren’t trying to make me impressed with how holy or spiritual or nice you were, you were being authentic and your authentic self just happens to be loving and beautiful. You have some heaviness in your life – you have burdens that must make your shoulders tired. I imagine people would be surprised to hear some of the onerous parts of your life because your smile has a way of making the world believe in beauty and goodness and that everything will get better. I’m guilty of not bearing the weight of your burdens well because of that. Because you’re you – you’re the joy of my heart and you listen to all my messes. I’m sorry that I don’t tend to your messes well in return. I never want anything to ever make your heart heavy. At a big season in your life I remember saying to a friend of ours, “If I would want anything good to happen to anyone in the world.. it would be her.” And that’s still true. You know that line in Wuthering Heights, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”? Well, besides the fact that you’re not a man and I am not romantically attracted to you (sorry not sorry), I feel that exact way for you. Do you remember that Sunday at church when this conversation took place:

You: Hi! How are you?

Me: Good! How’s it going?

You: Good

*Pause*

*We both suddenly start crying*

You: I miss you so much

Me: I MISS YOU TOO. I LIED, I’M NOT GOOD I’M MISERABLE.

And this was only after not seeing each other for like.. three weeks. Now we have much bigger gaps in-between seeing each other. I hope you know that every time you ask me about Memphis and life and I say “Good!”, know that at any given moment I could cry thinking of how much I miss you. It doesn’t matter if weeks slip by somehow in between our conversations. You are still the friend that I adore. You are still my person. And it’s not just because you’re the only person in the world I’ve ever been able to borrow jeans from — it’s because you’re the most precious and lovely person I have ever had the pleasure of randomly sitting next to one night at USF four years ago. I love you so.

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