Thank You for my letters

My mother has always told me that when I first went to Primary School, I wrote upside down and back to front. I was also Left-handed. Perhaps in my mind I was living on another planet, with an unusual orbit and topsy-turvy gravity. Maybe in my present state of mind I still do. Needless to say, my early attempts at handwriting were both baffling and concerning to my teachers, and I felt these concerns emanating from them, like wafts of cold air. I recall sore fingertips from biting, paring them away, as if I was punishing my digits for not conforming. I recall knowing that things were not well, and that some presence covered my writing endeavours like thick morning fog.

Yet suddenly something happened. The fog lifted, and in a very short time I felt a brightening, and my writing took on a sort of fluency. The fog had gone.  I spent some time with a teacher, during the early mornings of a Summer holiday. There was a run of warm and sunny weather, and I recall a journey steered by high, green-hedged lanes leading to a house with a covered porch. Once there,  a lovely woman would sit next to me and help me write. I have no idea what she did or how she did it, but I could finally form letters, and hold a pen with confidence. My fingers almost felt a flourish of ink.

This Christmas, I have penned many cards, and done so without really thinking about it. The process of thinking to writing has been almost instantaneous, and without fear. Sometimes I write when I feel very quiet, and perhaps can not express what I want to say verbally. I write now on a daily basis (albeit mainly with a keyboard), and this act is as natural to me as breathing. Whatever passes from brain to pen, the most important words that I write are always written first on paper before they are transmitted (as these have been). I feel very aware today that I am able to do this because of the help and patience of one teacher, and she is very dear to my heart. I hope that when she receives a Christmas card from my parents, she might look at these words and feel happy.


Copyright Tom Tide 2017

3 Comments Add yours

  1. We always remember our inspirational teachers … mine was Mr. Neate, who gave me my love of words. There are students currently who will never forget the teacher who inspired them to express themselves freely “in a good way.” You know the one I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzy Andrews says:

    Dear Tom – I was so touched to read this letter which was tucked into a Christmas card from your parents (?) addressed to my mother, Mrs Willars (Jean), the “lovely woman” who sat next to you and helped you write.

    I am now sitting next to her, and I read it out to her at her bedside in hospital. She has been here for nine weeks following a fall, bleeding on the brain and a stroke. I do hope our concern is not “emanating” from us “like cold wafts of air”!

    The stroke has caused communication difficulties. What struck me about your letter was the connection between you two and language. Whilst you say above “The process of thinking to writing has been almost instantaneous, and without fear” – I witness my mum processing thoughts but having difficulty physically articulating them….it’s a kind of apraxia, I believe, so she, too, is in a kind of fog. I hope she is not afraid.

    I am praying for a miracle, but as you can testify, they do happen. I pray that one day I will be able to praise God because Mum will say “suddenly something happened. The fog lifted, and in a very short time I felt a brightening, and my [speech] took on a sort of fluency”.

    Thank you for this precious memory which I was able to share with her. She remembers you, as she does all of “her children” who had the privilege of being taught and loved by this “lovely woman”. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom Tide says:

    Dear Suzy, I am so sad to hear that your lovely Mum has had such an unpleasant time. What a horrible experience, and very frightening for you. I hope that this message reaches you when things are going as well as they can do.

    I am very happy that you read my words to your Mum. I heartily meant every one of them, and she is in my thoughts a great deal. I shall think of her and pray for her this Christmas, for a speedy and gentle recovery. The brain is a wonderful and very tough part of the body, and with the spirit your Mum has, I think that the word fog will lift.

    Sending you all Christmas wishes and healing thoughts. With love, Tom xxx


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