Letters to Mom



By Kevin Randall

One of the most difficult challenges we faced as our family departed more than two decades ago was saying goodbye to loved ones and staying connected in our physical absence. To be honest, I was heartsick and so was Mom.

Family is the glue that holds us all together. Leaving for a distant country was like pulling the glue apart. We both knew it and made a promise to write one another every week, and we did! I ended up with a chronicle of our daily lives. Mom kept all of my letters in a box and gave them back to me before she went to heaven. Nowadays, on most evenings, I am entertained by reading a couple of letters before bedtime.

Sometimes, I find myself chuckling and even belly rolling at the things we said and did back then. At times, the monotony of daily life is obvious. I had forgotten the details, but my letters to Mom bring it all back home.

May 5, 2005, Cape Town, South AfricaYesterday we went to the bookstore at the mall. On our way, we ran into (saw) a lady that lives in our apartment building. We call her ‘the hat lady’ because we have never seen her without one. She’s very eccentric and her hats match her personality. Yesterday, her hat resembled a woven basket placed upon her head. I have a little story to tell, but first some background info. She is a well-known artist here in South Africa and has been on talk shows. Her father was a national hero during the apartheid and was killed. Just recently, Arch Bishop Tutu came to our apartment building to see her. So, as you can tell, she’s an important person. Well, when we saw her at the mall on our way to the bookstore, we stopped to chat. She’s really a super nice person. As we were parting company, Anna, in her high-pitched voice asked, “Was that the hat lady?”

One more on the mundane side – Leah and I were about to work on her English. She remarked that she didn’t think she needed to do this subject because she already knows how to speak English. The lesson that day was on comparing with adjectives. Sometimes you use ‘er’, ‘est, more, most, less and least to compare. When I asked her what she would use with an adjective like ‘generous’, she thought about it for a minute and said, ‘most, moster and mostest’. That should answer her question about why she needs to study English.

More later.
Love, Kevin