During this A to Z I have pondered and perplexed when I think of the letter X. I deliberated over cheating and stating (e)xtra, or (e)xtravagant dropping the E but this seems like a cheat so I shall try to complete my post of gratitude on the letter X although this is extraordinarily hard.
I did something I have not done for a long time, I hit the dictionaries. I have a pair of beautiful leather-bound lexicons that were gifted to me by my father when I started my degree, printed by the Funk & Wagnalls Company in 1955. The sit on my shelf idly holding words waiting for a moment such as this. There must be some phrase,some gem that I can harvest and manipulate to fit my X post. Opening the second volume of this very Old “New Practical Standard Dictionary” I smiled and wondered when the last time I thumbed the pages was, perhaps four years ago maybe more.
Under the letter X there are listed a total of eighty-two entries. A plethora of possibilities, or perhaps not. I scanned them and my eye was taken to Xebec, I could have fun with this word, twist in into a journey of letters turning it into gratitude to have walked away from bad relationships and become the Xe bec… but no not when I read that an Xebec is a small three-masted Mediterranean vessel. Even I cannot stretch word play this far.
Xmas is the next word of the eighty-two that draws my eye, but this is an abbreviation and should we abbreviate a day that is supposed to be a celebration, cutting short on the good things in life is not something I can condone. Drat my principles. I fear that I am going to fall back on the internet, that these 58 year old books are not going to be of any help. So I close them gently just to reopen them to check the printing date for the purpose of this post.
My old dictionaries were first owned by an L S Benson who lived in 20 Stoke Newington, written on the inside of volume one with the date 1956. The second volume has a different hand written message. It reads “To my daughter, don’t be lost for words love from Ken xxx” a simple message in a hand that I shall not see reproduced again. My Dad is still with us but he is not able to write in the same way. Parkinson’s has taken his handwriting from him so finding this short message after so long is something to be truly grateful for, as are the three x’s that have been penned to communicate his love for me.
So today in the post of X, that is exactly what I am grateful for. I am thankful that I did not find a word to use but turned the page to see my Dad’s hand written x’s for me.