A story is a great way to start a letter
One of the easiest ways to write a note to slip in a card is to start with a story; here is mine for today. This needlepoint is the only thing I have from my great grandmother. Poems are great, too!
My grandfather was a twin, and his mother, my great-grandmother, died in childbirth in Chesire, England. Her name was Eliza Caldecott, born in 1853; the twin boys’ names were Frank and Charles. They both migrated to the United States in their early 20’s. My grandfather was a delight to me, he and Frank worked at Kodak, and when work was tedious, they would switch places and go to each other’s jobs (a perk for identical twins). I was unaware of my grandfather’s orphan upbringing; he never knew his dad, and the boys were separated and sent to different relatives. It must have been hard, illegitimate in the eyes of the community and orphaned. One afternoon my mother was helping him fill out a form, perhaps for social security, and they pulled out his birth certificate; she gasped and said, “Charlie, your name is Harold Charles, not Charles Harold.” The three of us at the table were in shock; I wondered who had named him and, in turn, how no one noticed what his first name was. My grandfather’s face said so much to me at that moment.
I was pregnant at 38, and after a long flight and a yoga class, I began to bleed and worried and knew I was having a miscarriage. My husband & I went to the emergency room, and the doctor confirmed the worst. Dr. Green recommended a D&C to stop the bleeding. I would not have an abortion at a hospital at 10 p.m. after a grueling evening. I said, “No .”She upped the ante, “You must return if you continue bleeding.” I stopped, and weeks later still felt nauseous. My obstetrician called for tests which showed I had twins, the technician kindly explained, as my best friend, Mindy, and I looked at the sonogram, that one of the embryos had an incomplete side which was where the bleeding had probably occurred. My body might absorb that, but the other embryo was healthy, and I was still pregnant. I felt so overjoyed. My daughter was born and has grown up, and I still have that sense of wonder with her. During the lockdown, something jarred in me, and I felt an awareness of that lost twin, the one I saw on the screen that day, hardly formed. I also felt Eliza Caldecott and her loving guidance, knowing we had that twin thing in common and much more. This strange world change we are in, this chaos and stillness, has made me aware I have taken so much for granted.
Please share one of your stories with me; I am here. firstname.lastname@example.org