I was remembering the days when I used to sit down in a little coffee shop on 7th Avenue by 40th Street. I always took a seat that faced the window so I could watch the people walk passed. I would sit and write to you and tell you about life in New York City. My eyes were much younger then and everything seemed so new. My world was very different then and the times were different too. The price of a cup of coffee was certainly a lot less than it is now. This was back before cellular phones overtook society. This was when people sat across from each other and spoke in detail about life and whatever else. Instead of looking at their phones or whatever technical gadget they may have, people used to converse with each other. Back then, going for a cup of coffee with someone had more meaning. Then again, everything had more meaning back then.
What I remember most about this coffee shop was the holiday season. There is no time like Christmas time in New York. I recall watching the snowfall, sitting in the coffee shop, sipping from an over-sized mug, and meanwhile, the sound of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas would sing from the speakers. They played the greats like Billy Holiday and Sinatra. It felt like New York to me. And me being young—me being on the verge of so many new things, I would sit and write to you, and tell you about all of the things I saw. I felt as though if I were to tell you all of what I saw and what I experienced; maybe then you would know I was doing well.
I remember sitting in this coffee shop and my entire life was still ahead of me. There were so many things I had yet to see and experience. I was fresh to this world. Remember? I used to write you once a week back then. This was after you had moved and while yes, I understood why you moved away; deep down, I was still just a son that missed his Mom.
So much time has passed since then. And here we are now, it’s Christmas in New York. Another year has passed and I am not as young anymore. No one is. There are still things I have yet to see and experience; there is more ahead of me too and this is something I know for sure.
I’m not sure when the weekly letters stopped. I remember buying a card each week. And the cards were always blank because I wanted to fill them myself. I wanted to be the one that told you how I was feeling. I didn’t need any Hallmark greeting to tell you what was going on. I wanted to be the one to do that.
Life happens. We grow and our priorities change. Life happens and our responsibilities change as well. The heart remains and the thoughts remain, but sometimes, life gets in the way and we aren’t always able to do the things we want to. We say things like, “I’ll call tomorrow,” or “I’ll send a card next week.” The only problem is when tomorrow comes or whenever next week hits, the list of things that need our attention continue to grow. I wish this wasn’t the case but it is.
I was thinking about you this morning. I was thinking about the time I spent in that coffee shop, writing letters to you, and hoping that you would get them with a smile and feel proud of me. I always wanted you to feel proud of me.
I miss you Mom . . .
This will be our second Christmas without you. This is another year I will miss your early morning phone call. This is another year I will miss calling you on New Year’s morning. It’s hard, Mom. It’s hard because I can still feel your energy. I can still feel as if you’re around somewhere, only, I’m not sure where to find you or how to reach you. I guess maybe this is why I write you these letters.
Tomorrow we plan to decorate the house for the holidays. We’re getting a big Christmas tree this year. Maybe this will be the biggest one we’ve ever had. I like the house when it looks this way. All the lights are lit up on the tree. The decorations hang and the home smells from the apple cinnamon candles. Hopefully soon, “It’s A Wonderful Life” will be on television. I’ve always loved that movie. Another favorite of mine is “Boys Town” with Spencer Tracy. I’ll be looking for this movie as well.
At night time, I like to sit quietly on the living room couch watching “A Miracle on 34th” Street in the dark. I look around and sip from my cup of coffee. There really is something magical to this time of year.
I wanted to tell you about these things because maybe if I write this, you would get it with a smile and feel proud of me. There are so many things I wish I could show you. There are so many things I want you to see. For now, I will do the same as when you moved down to Florida. I’ll just keep writing to you and hope my letters find their way to wherever you are now. Maybe this way you will know I’m doing well.
And tell Pop I think he would really like where I live now. I think he would like the house too. Tell him there’s a mountain in my backyard. Tell him I don’t live so close to the beach anymore, but I promise to keep our tradition alive and make sure I take a nice long walk on New Year’s morning.
Let him know that I did like he asked me to. Tell him that I took care of you, that I was there when you needed me and that although the letters didn’t come every week like they used to—let Pop know that I never forgot the things he told me to do when he said goodbye.
Anyway Mom, I’m going to close for now. We will make sure to set a place for you both, just in case you decide to stop by on Christmas.
Say hello to Aunt Peggy for me.
Love always, your son