Your recent article “Missed Opportunities” caused me to think of something I’ve always wanted to share with my children, grandchildren, and friends for some time now. And that is the lost art of letter writing.
When I was growing up in the '40s and '50s, I received and wrote to my dad (in the service), my grandmother who lived miles away, and family and friends. I met my husband while he was just leaving the Navy and we began exchanging letters. Then I went to nursing school and he started college and we began a year-long exchange, corresponding nearly daily. Through the years, my "letter list" grew, to my mother and brothers in Florida and several more family and friends.
After 64 years of marriage, my sweet husband passed away of COVID. It was then when I discovered my letters—yes I kept all of them from friends and family and especially those of my husband—all 246 of them. I began reading his letters to me. It is hard for me to express the joy and comfort his letters have brought to me. How thankful I am that I kept his handwritten letters filled with so much love and great memories. They have brought him so close to me; I can almost hear his voice when I am reading them.
I recently told my sons, “If you want a good history of my life, just read my letters from your dad, grandmother, aunts, and my friends.”
There is something very precious about reading old letters, it's like sitting down and talking with them once again.
Texting is just not the same, though I agree it does have a place and serve a purpose. I asked my granddaughter, recently married, if she had any letters from her husband. She admitted, "they were all in a cloud somewhere."
Well, in closing, I wouldn’t take anything for my letters and I would encourage anyone who reads this to handwrite at least one letter to someone, and perhaps you’ll receive one thing in return. (I’m re-reading mine for the 2nd time.) I trust you won’t let “letter writing” become a “lost opportunity” in your life.
Incidentally, I still have some letters my mother received during World War II from her brother and friends, and I’m reading them also. What a treasure.