My Open Letter To Open Letters

My Open Letter To Open Letters

Dear Open Letter, I am so over you.
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If we're being honest here, I was never really into you. I'm still struggling to understand how this craze and fascination everyone seems to have for you has carried out for this long. Here, let me explain.

At first, I sort of got it. I remember scrolling down on my Facebook wall and seeing some Open Letter from a parent to a child, and I clicked on it. It was sweet. Vulnerable. A powerful imagery of love that I could see resonated with many.

After a little while, though, you started making a regular appearance on my wall. I found myself reading the titles given to you and feeling content to keep on scrolling. I had read a few, I'd seen it all. Then when I read the Humans of New York's letter to Donald Trump, I thought I'd give you a second chance. But alas, my enthusiasm for you was smothered once again.

You had become a quick format for people to complain, rant or flaunt some relationship or opinion that I didn't ask to hear. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate vulnerable writing, I value when someone pours their heart out on a page—God knows that's all I do—but if someone is going to write a letter, at least make it eloquent, not just relevant.

It seems to me that you're really just verbal vomit on a page. I want more than this from you. I want to be surprised by how angry you make me or, if you are going to be used to be blatantly superficial, it should be done so with a cynical or satirical lens. Point is, I want my brain engaged. Besides, anyone can verbally vomit, and anyone can engage people's emotions, it's not that difficult.

With all this said, I do not want to put the blame on you, dear open letter, for how people have mistreated you. You have potential, you really do. So I would like to take this opportunity to instead thank you for one aspect of yourself that I admire: you have gotten people writing letters.

The lost art of letter writing has been brought back to the light, thanks to you, and no matter how poorly written they may be, it's enough to see letters circulating once more.

As most young, typical strong-minded women fascinated by literature do, I love Jane Austen. This period of history fascinates me, and as romanticized as it may be, I find myself looking back lustfully on the days when someone would slave over a letter for a loved one, or for a friend far away.

I have recently been writing letters to a friend of mine studying abroad in Oxford and it has been an absolutely gratifying and refreshing experience. I would like to see more people writing letters that do not have to be shared with the world—that shouldn't be shared with the world.

I want to see letters how they were meant to be: intimately and exclusively shared between the sender and receiver. I would like to see people motivated to sit down and write a letter that won't be on display. And I would most certainly like to see someone sit down and write a letter just for themselves, perhaps write down their opinion in letter form and mull over it, correct it, form it. And then never choose to share it.

I know. It's a groundbreaking thought.

Moreover, there's something secretly delicious about a hand crafted letter, something beautifully rare and nostalgic. I wish we had more of this quiet isolated letter writing, and less of this hyper aggressive megaphone writing that has turned me so completely off to you. Maybe I haven't quite given you a chance.

You aren't all that bad—but don't start counting me in as one of your fanatics.

Yours respectfully,

Lindsey

Cover Image Credit: hercampus.com

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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