What a nice surprise yesterday when I went to retrieve the mail. I reached in the box to find a small brown envelope addressed to both of us. The envelope had a return address with a name that was unfamiliar to me. Curiosity led me to quickly open the package marked media mail to find a book inside titled, The Law of Physics Are On My Side written by Walter Haugen. I bounced down the driveway reading the back and the dedication:
This book is dedicated to Toni Lyons -
crack editor, fellow weeder and best companion.
Every day she gets up and does something positive.
When that is done she does something else that is positive.
My emotions were as raw as meat waiting to be tenderized. I can't begin to say how I felt while reading this. Standing at the top of the driveway I was surrounded by trees and I felt hugged.
I ascertained from the back of the book that Walter is a small farmer who makes a difference every day by feeding people and he wanted us to know that there are others who relate. I haven't felt this inspired to write something for quite some time, thank you Walter and Toni for thinking of us.
A gift shared from someone you don't know is like a breath at the end of time, one never knows if or when it's coming.
Two weeks have passed since we put our property up for sale and I thought it would get easier. Many emails have been sent to family and friends not only hoping to get the word out, but hoping to find a buyer who appreciates what it has to offer, very few replies have come back.
Maybe too often I expect others to at least acknowledge the hard work that went into creating this sanctuary that feeds us, though I remember my New Year's resolution was to give up my expectations and I begin to chastise myself for thinking.
Walking back down the driveway I decided to hide the book that we just received and present it to my husband tomorrow, as a "thank you" for all that he has done.
Inspired by a thoughtful stranger, I sat down to write this letter that flowed out of me in less than 30 minutes. For me inspiration is so strong when it feels so right.
The letter to my husband, reads:
We received this book in the mail today and I've only read the back and the dedication. It put a bounce in my step as I wondered how the author had heard of us, but even more important is the fact that he felt a need to reach out when perhaps we needed to hear the message.
You especially have worked so diligently in building our small farm which we both know is going to be so needed if not by us, then by others who can breathe more life into it. If we sell, the feather will be placed so justifiably on the side of your cap.
I think I've learned more in these past 11 years than I will ever learn and together once again we weather the storm and embrace what it is we need to, we always do.
I know you have said that you were not cut out to be a father but then I have to ask who is? You have never been anyone else than who you are and authenticity is a trait that many strive to have but fall short because they would rather be liked. I for one struggle with this and have learned from you that one of the most important things we can give and share with each other is honesty, without it, is a world full of lies and deceit which we see so much of today.
Wherever we have lived, you have always managed to create a sanctuary of peace. This one is not without sadness as so much of the surroundings are now dying. Our maple tree that once served as a shelter from the rain is already shedding it's leaves now in June. Nature is crying in pain and all we can do is watch. But before me is a splendid garden tended by you with the love and interest of a child painting their dream of a lifetime.
I look at this work of art and I know how it was mastered, one day at a time, putting one foot before the other. Positive change can only come from the endeavor to face the truth and work with what you have, offering your physical strength and endurance to persevere through sorrow and pain.
No, I am not your daughter, I am your wife. I honor your love and friendship every day and I admire your honesty as a father who has been nothing less than honest with your children just as you have been to yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to explain and teach most of whom has given you the opportunity. You have gone from the player on the sidelines who listened, to a coach in the game with a message.
Happy Father's Day from your wife.