Hello ~ Write to Me with Sentimental Effusion
Posted on: 7th February 2017 16:46:10

Hello again, hello! It’s good to need you so.  It’s good to love you like I do, and to feel this way, when I hear you say, hello.” (Neil Diamond, 1980)

As we once again open the guidebook to February, we say “hello” to some great historical figures, (and by now old friends), John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, in 1776.


As interesting as these men may be, it is the relationship between John Adams and his wife Abigail, which captures our attention this year. It is in their correspondence that we find, simple greetings, together with messages of hope, strength and love.



History tells us, during the fight for independence, John and Abigail, spent may years apart.   During these separations, their only form of communication was letter writing.   A well-written letter, whether, a simple note of introduction, or a well-worded missive of love, can move mountains.   



John: "Abigail, I’m very lonely, Please come to Philadelphia. Please come.”



Abigail: “Thank you John. I do want to. You know, now it’s not possible. The children have the measles.”



John: “Abigail how goes it with you?”


Abigail: “Not at all well. Write to me with sentimental effusion. Let me revel in romantic illusion.”



John:  “Madam we shall walk in Cupid's Grove together.”


John and Abigail: “Till then, till then, I am as I ever was and ever was, and ever shall be, yours, yours, yours, yours, yours.”



As you, your clients, residents, students, and intergenerational family members, re-visit this film; spend some quality time with this couple and their letters:


John: “I have such a desire to knock heads together!”


Abigail: “You make things so complicated.  Just tell the Congress to declare independency! Then, sign your name, get out of there, and hurry home to me!”



In these letters, we find the answer to this month’s thought provoking question:



What lesson does this film have to teach about the strength, and resilience of these characters as they face periods of change? 



Strength and resilience for these characters comes from the knowledge that the sacrifices they make, (long absences, loneliness), will be rewarded when they are brought together under a new nation.



Discuss periods of struggle with all your clients. Upon what support systems did they rely to see them through?     During such times what was their primary mode of communication? (Letters, phone calls). Did they fill you with comfort? Do you still have the letters written to you during times of struggle or courtship? How do they make you feel now?



As you reminisce with your older generation clientele, regarding courtship, times of struggle, and memories of letter written and received, spend some time with your younger generation clientele talking about the lost art of letter writing.



Discuss how friendships and love relationships can be built, grown, and sustained, without the benefit of facebook, face-time, e-mail or text.



It begins, continues, and ends with a simple wish to connect with another person with pen, paper, and a simple, “hello.”








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