“A Continuing Expression of Love,” Ensign, June 1984, 67
As my brothers and I grew up and began to leave home, my father kept us close to him through letters. His were not the occasional kind, but were frequent and full of warm expression. By them, he continued to fulfill his role as a father after we left home, advising us, inspiring us, and encouraging us. It is the type of loving gift I want to give to my children.
The letters began after I graduated with my thirty-two classmates from our small town’s high school in western Colorado. When I arrived at our state’s largest university with nine thousand other students, I felt completely lost. But my father’s letters followed me and provided the anchor and lifeline that kept me secure.
When I received a scholarship to Germany for a year of study between my junior and senior years at the university, my father’s letters and postcards followed me there. At one time I had thirty colorful postcards of Colorado displayed on the walls of my dormitory room. I never forgot my geographic, cultural, or family origins.
Following my graduation, I went to Anchorage, Alaska, as a teacher. Again my father’s letters came, keeping me informed about our family and providing me with clippings that he thought I would find interesting.
After a year of teaching, I left for a two-year trip around the world. I spent four months in Japan, five months in India, five months in Africa, and six months in South America, with shorter stays in other areas. My father followed my itinerary faithfully, and I found letters and cards waiting for me at every American Express office I visited.
Finally I returned to Alaska, where I met and married my husband. During the past twenty years of our marriage, my father has continued to write, even though he can no longer see what he types. I look forward to the time when I can begin to share with our children the same priceless gift my father has given to me—a continuing expression of love. Louise Cate, San Jose, California