Don’t we have an interesting history in letters? Sure, you could take this to the level of each A, B, or Z that impacts our history. What I’m referring to is the correspondence we give and get, and how that shapes our history. Yes, the fine art of letter writing. In the digital age, physical letters are less frequent.
My parents collected things during their lifetime. (Don’t we all?) One of their collections, though, I am extremely grateful for. They saved boxes of letters to and from my grandmother—about 5 years of correspondence. Most of it was letters she wrote to her mother; at least once a week, sometimes more frequently. She died when my dad was 2 years old, so I never met her, or her parents.
When my parents made their transition from their home to a smaller, more contained living environment, they shared these letters with me. WOW! I committed myself to reading those letters so I could get to know this part of my family whom I never met. Most of the letters date from the late 1920s to the mid-1930s. A time capsule!
Not only did I get to know her, but I got to see a part of history that happened long before I existed. There was talk of riding horseback to get from one place to another. Then, along came the machines—the introduction of cars. I read interesting tales about our culture (and limited diversity), and funny out-house stories. Oh, and the startling tale of a mouse escaping from under her dress while she was preaching. Her explanations about the limitations she faced being a woman in the early ‘30s.
This was a precious gold mine for me, and I got to learn more about my family. Thank you, Grandma Jeannette, for writing (and saving) so many precious moments on paper, so I could know you and your family. Our history in letters.
Before you give up on the moments required to hand-write a letter, think. You may have a future relative who might be interested in how you thought, how you lived, and what sort of things you shared with your loved ones. You may create an important time capsule for someone in your future because you allowed the ink to flow onto actual paper.