Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

In Other Words

on July 16, 2015

I have never begun a letter with “Dear Mom”, but I’ve written countless to “Dear Mama”. Mama lived in a time when writing letters to loved ones every day was the norm. When she died over forty years ago my siblings and I found a huge dress box, another object now long gone, filled with every letter Mamma wrote to Daddy when they were apart and a lesser number of his replies. We were too young to recognize how priceless the letters were. We each saved a few but threw away a treasure trove of family stories.

I found another box of letters my mother saved that even now lives in my closet along with other boxes of “Family Jewels”. It contains every letter I ever wrote to Mama beginning with letters from summer camp when I was ten years old. It is beyond thrilling to read about the first meal I cooked as a bride (disastrous) and to read the letter describing the first time I felt my unborn child kick. My last few letters were written seven years later, just before my mother died.

My Dad tried to keep up writing letters after Mama was gone. I saved the ones he wrote me. There is a special one I keep in the drawer of my bedside table among miscellaneous odd and ends. It is an endearing surprise to run across it and read about how much he enjoyed my summer visit. He wrote that he got a kick out of my one-and-a-half year old son Fred’s attachment to his security blanket. He signed it “Love, Daddy.”

8 responses to “In Other Words

  1. It’s wonderful that you have these letters as keepsakes.

  2. Ah, I’ve saved years of letters….and now I have a file on the computer of saved email. Mercy. But I really love the letters. My mother rarely wrote on lined paper and her lines drift off on one side and when she got to the bottom of the letter and still had one more thing to says, she wrote up the side. It has astounded me to see myself do the same thing in the rare hard copy letters I write. Thanks for the memories….. (we sing)

  3. hbsuefred says:

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes. They were happy tears, recalling the letter I wrote to my Dad one Father’s Day, telling him how much the man I married was like him. As bloggers know, our thoughts put into writing have more power.

  4. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks for telling me about the letter you wrote your Dad, Yes, written words have more power. I’m grateful to Word Press for people to listen. It’s like “hearing someone into speech”.

  5. This one brings tears. Letters are intimate and how sad that they are a forgotten or never used practice. How happy and joyous that you have such treasures and share the story with us.

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