Thursday, June 18, 2015

Life in Letters

Sometimes the US Postal Service blog has some really great articles. I read one tonight that was very heartwarming about a friend who helped another woman get through cancer by sending her a letter every single day until she was cancer free. You can read about it here.

Writing is very therapeautic whether you are writing in a journal for yourself, or whether you are sharing your thoughts with another through letter writing. I used to write letters to my grandparents when I was a child and then I began writing letters to my friends who lived in another town while I was in junior high school. I still have all of the letters I ever received during this time. I have an old footlocker filled to the brim. Inside are words that jolt my memories awake and make me smile.

My first love wrote the most amazing, romantic letters to me. He and I were just 16 years old but we were madly and passionately in love. I have all of his letters that he wrote me. I also have all the ones I wrote to him. (he gave them back to me when we broke up) I cherish every single word.

Above: just one of many of his letters.

When I was in my twenties, I met a guy who lived two hours away from me in Southern California. He loved writing letters to me and he was very good at it. I thought he was so cool and his letters always gave me such a lift.

Above: two of several letters I received from him.

Then there was this guy I carried a torch for who lived in South Lake Tahoe. He wrote me letters too.  Oh, how my heart would soar when I would hear from him. It is also through him that I met my now husband. Funny how fate intervenes. I've been with my husband for 24 years now.

But I still cherish the above letters.

I have letters from childhood friends.

Above:  My mom's best friend's daughters whom I've known since the age of four. I have boxes full of letters from them beginning in the 1970's. These are just a few from the sisters.

Just a few of the letters from my best friend from elementary school. We met in Kindergarden in 1969-1970. I moved away in 6th grade.

Letters from my high school best friend. Just a few of the many, many letters from her.

A humorous birthday card from my dad. Just one of many.

Above: Letters from different cousins.

Above: a letter from a boy that I crushed on big time until he sent me a letter just before this one with a ring in it. It totally freaked me out and scared me off. (I was only 14 or 15)

This letter is one of a few I received from the same person who had romantic feelings towards me. I liked him but not as much as he liked me. His letters are phenomenal though and he was quite open which I truly admire. This is about a five page letter. 

Every now and then I'll go through my trunk and read some of the various letters from friends or old boyfriends or from my dad or grandparents. No matter which letter I pick up to read, it always leaves me with a smile on my face because it's proof that someone loved me and wanted to share their life with me. Letters are personal history.

Write on!


Rebecca said...

Wow! So amazing to me that your saved all those letters.

Eva A. said...

I was also moved for that story shared by USPS.

Oh, and me too, I keep all the letters I have received in my life (or 99%!). I have never re-read them, but I'm sure I will find big surprises when I do. I like your post and pictures.

Write on!

phonelady said...

yes letters sure are personal history ...wish I had saved some of the letters my dad wrote from viet nam to me and as well as the ones my brother wrote to me from college . they are both gone now and I feel such a loss from them being gone . wish I had saved some of those letters but I know they are always with me .

Limner said...

You're amazing! What a wonderful post. It is a testimony to the legacy and power of letter writing. It's interesting how our emotions can still be stirred by words from the past. My heart still hurts just a little each time I read the letter written to my grandmother, denying her my grandfather's pension. I found it in an old cookbook, of all places. And reading my boyfriend's teachable moment in a letter still stings. He was upset because I'd lost my keys!

My youngest sister's cards and letters were always the opposite of how her life really was. They pop up in the most unlikeliest places at odd times. Her last text messages are still on my phone, almost mid-text before she went into cardiac arrest. I take great comfort in knowing I was the first sibling to hold her when she came home from the hospital, and being the last one she "spoke" with before she passed.

Thank you.