Are there Intimate Letters you Wish you had Written?

 NA Stone for Benjamin SMALLow that A Stone for Benjamin has gone off to the printers I have time to reflect on different parts of the book. I never knew Benjamin or his family but I frequently think about the relationships that I could have had with my great-uncle, his wife and his three children. I spent the first eighteen years of my life living in England and after I turned five, my family vacationed in Europe each summer. We drove everywhere and I have no doubt that my father would have taken us to Paris, where I would have met and played with my older cousins Sara, Freda and Roland. I imagine that we would have taught each other to speak a little French and English. We would have written to each other; pen pals were common and encouraged when I was a child. And the families would have joined together in celebrating Bar Mitzvah’s and Weddings in London and Paris. Most of all I think about the unwritten letters. I have always found it easier to write my intimate thoughts rather than speak them. I think about those letters, realizing that I have a need to write to Benjamin and his family. Here is a letter to my cousin Freda.

 Dearest Freda,

 It was wonderful to see you again, and I wish that our visits were more frequent. It was fun learning to put on make-up with you. I made sure that I washed it off before my mother saw me wearing lipstick!  I wish I were older like you.

I’m so excited to be a bridesmaid at your wedding next spring and I can’t wait to receive the material for my dress! My father will have it made by one of the seamstresses in his factory. My mother said that most of the family from London and Glasgow will be there. I hope that my grandfather is well enough to travel.

After our visit with you, we left Paris early the following morning and drove south towards the Riviera. All of the food that your mother packed for us was delicious and I think we ate it all by lunch time. We had a good vacation, and my mother relaxed the whole time. My father was lots of fun. Maybe someday, we can all go on a vacation together.

I have to go, my mother is calling me for dinner.  Write soon!

Lots of Love,



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