Friday, January 02, 2009

MY FIRST SNAIL MAIL LETTER


ANOTHER POST BY MILTON:


For new readers to this site, I am writing since Kristy's battle with a GBM brain tumor and her passing on July 21. Kristy made me a romantic so I write to share christian love stories.

***


That first phone conversation with Wanda was very awkward and didn’t last long at least as long as phone calls that came later. I will admit I didn’t feel very comfortable talking to you her. I wasn’t really sure why I called her then except I couldn’t get her out of my mind and I had to make sure she was OK. I know that doesn’t sound right in light of all that had happened to me with that voice, and Jennifer’s blurting out about Wanda, and Norma’s brief slip telling me about Kristy’s wishes. But that is what happened and how I felt.


The conversation lasted forty-five minutes or so and centered around my loss of Kristy and some talk about our children. Finally I thanked her for listening to me and for her prayers. I think I ended by saying that maybe we could talk again sometime and finally said good bye or something like that, and our first phone conversation ended.


Several days pasted and I decided to write Wanda a letter. I didn’t have an email address or I would have emailed her, but I looked up her house address and wrote her a letter. It was an awkward letter kind of like the first phone conversation we had. I typed it rather than write it long hand for the reason listed in the letter.


Here is my first letter to her:


Dear Wanda:


Thank you for taking time to talk to me Saturday night. It was obvious that you truly understand how I feel and the hurt that I am dealing with in losing Kristy. I felt awkward in calling you though I don’t know exactly why. As I shared, you had been on my mind for several days and it seemed that I was just supposed to call you. I wondered if the Lord had put you on my heart to help you in some way, but your understanding heart helped me.


I have a long way to go to fully deal with Kristy’s death. You knew her and she thought so very much of you. Kristy and I both were hurt and shocked at Jim’s passing and I will never forget getting the news from my secretary by phone while we were driving away from St. Pete beach returning home from a few days vacation. I had to pull the car over to the side of the road because I was so shaken by the news of Jim’s death.


It amazed me and helped me to hear your insight in the recovering process from losing a spouse. I never thought I would face such a time ever in my life in that Kristy’s a family all lived so long. I just figured she would survive me by fifteen years or more. It is funny how life’s journey can have such unexpected turns.


Sunday the Lord helped me preach and minister to my church. They have all been so kind to me and help me. I have been very blessed to have had the privilege to work with some very wonderful people and know that somehow by His grace that I have more to offer and do for God. The Scripture I chose to preach was taken from II Corinthians 4. You probably don’t remember this, but one day you put those verses on my desk when I was the pastor in Bartow. That is very encouraging portion of Scripture. I preached on the topic, “Don’t Lose Heart.”


Amazingly I am excited about some of the wonderful things God has put in my heart to do. I plan on writing more and traveling and speaking in churches for men and women’s groups. I am going to take a motorcycle course since so many of my friends have them. They have all been after me for some time to get one so I thought I would see if I could pass a motorcycle course. Then, if I feel like I won’t bust my hide, I will see about buying one. Don’t tell my parents about this as they would not like their son getting a motorcycle.


Kristy and I actually went on a three day get a way to Amelia Island a couple years back and stayed at a B&B where they had mopeds, which is a small scooter. She squealed and begged me to slow down, but I told her that if I went any slower we would fall over. She enjoyed it once she got use to riding with me and then wanted to do it more.


I am typing this because my hand writing still stinks. I try to write only my signature as I hate my penmanship so bad. It just doesn’t get better. When I was in Bartow, I found out that Delores Culverhouse would get Cindy to come to the church and try to figure out what I had written for the church bulletin. That’s when I got a dictaphone to use. She was so meek that she would not tell me she couldn’t read what I was scribbling. You probably remember how bad my handwriting was, though I don’t recall you’re ever saying anything about it.


I am going to be very busy these next weeks with all kinds of projects we are doing in the church. Because of Kristy’s illness and death, I have not been close on hand with so many of the church ministries. They all need attention. We are finishing a total remodeling of our church facilities and are on the home stretch to get it done. I have good help, but there is so much that needs attention and oversight.


Well, I bet you were surprised to get this rambling letter. I just felt a need to write and share from my heart more clearly what was going on in me.


Thanks for listening. My email address is -------------. Please email me so I can have your email address on my file. I have a long way to go to get through this and would appreciate your prayers for me and my girls.


Gratefully,



Milton Dykes


***


Well, that doesn’t sound so romantic does it?


And how about the ending? “Gratefully? What was that?


I spent a few moments trying to determine how to end that letter. Sincerely? With Prayers? Hurting? Scared? Respectfully? Your Former Boss? or Your Former Pastor? Or love? No, I am kidding about several of those possible conclusions, but I could not write the word love. I loved her as I would any parishioner or person but I didn’t love her in the manner I would in a matter of a few weeks.


And what about asking for an email address to put in "my file?"


Does that sound like business or bashfulness?


It was an awkward letter from a hurting guy who God had spoken some very clear words but wasn’t sure what to do about it. I actually wrote the letter and kept it several days before I mailed it. I am not real sure why I did that either, but that is what happened.


She received the letter and sent a text back to me as my cell phone number was on the letter. She wished me a happy birthday as she knew my birthday because I had been her pastor and boss and the church had celebrated my birthday many times while I was her pastor.


But she didn’t send me her email address. I was waiting but she didn’t send it.

5 Comments:

At 8:44 AM, Blogger 365 DAYS OF DANCING IN THE RAIN said...

Pastor....
This is precious... Rock on and be happy...
Peace and Love to you for 2009!
Always Love...

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just can't wait to read this blog everyday. It is a blessing,

From GA

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton,
Your transparency amazes me...all the time! How could anyone doubt your honesty and credibility when you pour it all out for the world to see?
In your "Wanda letter" I can sense the awkwardness, although you handle yourself most wonderfully in any given situation. "This" however, was a place you had not tread...I know it must've felt strange - in an odd sort of way.
Thank you for just being who you are...Milton Dykes...the son of a Dad and Mom who still love their "little boy" and would rather he not have a motorcycle! That's so cute! I'd rather my son (if I had one) not have a motorcycle TOO! Oh, how they scare me! I have three grandsons, and I hope they don't get the fever!
Looking forward to hearing and reading more of this "novella!"

"Gratefully" ~
Cathy

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Golly, Milton, it feels so good to smile with you! Kristy knew what she was doing.

We all miss her, but are eager to get to know Wanda.

Thank you for sharing this with us!

God bless,
Jan in PA

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Gayle said...

I'm captivated. Continue on.

 

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