The Letter Project

September 6, 2009

Special Delivery (20)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 11:59 pm
Tags: ,

In this letter to me, Cynthia Randolph writes of how difficult the days have been since her husband Randy died and what his death has meant for her creative life.    Cynthia also writes of finding comfort and meaning in genre fiction, and of her hope to someday write something that will be meaningful for others. –TW

August 26, 2009

Dear Theresa,

At long last, I’m sitting down to write you a letter.  It’s hard to say why letter writing, really any form of communication has been so hard.  Today those reasons include my cats who insist on sitting on my paper whenever I pause.

I’ve always loved letters.  A handwritten letter setting in my mailbox is guaranteed to make me smile.   I’ll walk up my driveway, letter in hand, feeling lighter, feeling loved.  I can barely wait to get in the house to open it.  It’s an experience, from the texture and weight of the stationery to the connection felt with each word.

Connection is one reason why I’ve had such difficulty with any form of communication.  After Randy died, I felt separated from everything, encapsulated in a solitary grief, apart from everything that had once brought me happiness.  Even the solitary pleasure of books.

I would try to read a good book, a book of substance and style, and I couldn’t go forward.  I’d find myself reading the same lines over and over.  Worse, I’d sit there and think there was no point to my ever writing again.

Books didn’t remain alien to me though.  Ever since I first sounded out words, books have been a source of growth and healing.  While really good books remained beyond my ability, others were out there.  Mysteries, romances, fantasies.  Vampires and smart aleck women in too high heels let me laugh and smell grave rot at the same time.  They also helped lead me back to myself.  I knew I was closer when I said, upon closing a book, “I can do better than that.”

So, here I am.  The writer’s callous on my third finger is building up again.  I don’t like much of what I’m writing.  In fact, it makes me wince.  Each word is an act of hope though.  Hope that connection, happiness and enjoying life will return.  Hope that I will write something that can touch someone the way that so many books and poems have touched me.  Hope that I will one day be comfortable again in my own skin.




  1. Though I do not know you, I want to offer my sympathy on your loss, and also to say that your letter inspires me. “I can do better than that,” and “Hope that I will one day be comfortable again in my own skin” both resonate with me.

    Comment by Rae — September 11, 2009 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  2. Hi Cyn

    You have already achieved what you want to: touch others the way you have been by what you read. Oh, the pain of separation comes through so touchingly through your simple but authentic expression. And the cats…their seizing your attention and holding on to it! They are so forthright in claiming their space!

    You write well.

    Comment by Aliashesh — September 14, 2009 @ 8:53 am | Reply

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