For years my mother talked about the Billy letters. They are a box of letters and photographs she and her sister found when they were cleaning out the attic of their recently departed grandmother. The letters revealed the story of an older brother my mother and her sister knew very little about. Since the events all took place years before either of them were born, and the family almost never spoke of Billy after the fact, my mother was only ever able to piece together fragments she’d overhear on occasion. She knew she had an older brother. She knew he was still alive, but didn’t understand why she couldn’t see him. And she knew that her mother was very upset about it all. Decades passed and the rest was a mystery, until the letters were found. The letters tell the entire story of Billy’s tragic life in painful detail. They begin with excitement for the coming of a new child and after a couple months transition to worry and concern that there is something wrong. The letters chronicle several visits with doctors and their attempts to diagnose and cure Billy. It is ultimately determined that Billy has Hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain”, and the excruciating decision is made to put Billy in an institution. He wasn’t expected to live a very long life and that was how things were done in the 1940s. If Billy had been born today, there is no doubt he would have lived a different life. Even though Hydrocephalus is still not preventable or even curable, there are treatments and a greater understanding of brain disorders in general. My mother felt very strongly about Billy’s story and she wanted it to be told so that he could at least get the recognition that he was denied for most of his life.
Tags: baby, brain, child, disorder, hydrocephalus, letters
This is a letter from my father, my first step-dad. I don’t know who my biological father is because my mom won’t tell me or can’t remember what his name is. It’s from a difficult time for her, so I think she buried alot of memories. I’ve always wondered who was responsible for shaping me early in life and who was responsible for giving me half of my genes, and this gives only the most fragmentary vision of that person, who could be dead or alive, but I have no way of finding him or my biological father. My current step-dad and I have had difficult times— I felt he had discarded me as he moved from wife to wife and family to family. I wandered for a long, long time. But now, I’m happier and more settled and I only wish I could know these people. I wish I knew who I resemble besides my mom, what family stories he had, what illnesses his family carries, even where they are from and how they live.
Tags: father, letter, lost
I wrote my downstairs neighbor a note when his tv was really loud early one morning. My note said: “Would you please turn your television down in the morning? It is way too loud for 6:48 am.”
He replied by writing the above note to me on the back of my note to him.
I spent the next two years afraid of my downstairs neighbor, and basically put up with all kinds of loud noise at all hours of the day and night. Because I was afraid of him, I covered the hardwood floors in my apartment with carpet (I hate carpet) and worried constantly that he might break into my apartment someday when I wasn’t there and hurt my cat. He seemed crazy enough to do it.
I finally moved. I understand that the people who live above him now actually do purposely make noise to torment him. So he is in a hell of his own making.Share Your Thoughts