Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hand-Written Letters

Does anyone else miss the old days before there was email?

As I'm working on this photo project for my grandmother's memorial service, I found some letters she wrote me over the years that I'd put aside in my files.  She and I used to exchange letters regularly and usually she just wrote about her plans for the day, but sometimes, she'd share something of herself that was maybe more than she would have otherwise told me (if it hadn't been in writing).

When I was in high school, at one point, I had 50 pen pals all over the world.  That's the old fashioned postal mail kind.  I'm still in touch with one of my pen pals in Kentucky and we usually just exchange Christmas cards most years.  But I've watched her marry and struggle with infertility and see her son born and grow (he's the same age as our S) and so many more things through letters, no matter how infrequent.  We have still never met face to face.

But after high school when my pen pals started to grow up and find the Internet, I just began writing family members.  I wrote to my grandmothers and to my great-aunt, as well as, occasionally, to my parents, my aunts, etc.

When the kids came along, I got worse and worse at using the postal mail because I just didn't have time or patience and I became more reliant on things like email (and now blogging) to let people know how it's going around here.  But I still miss the old days.

Finding these old letters now, after Grandma has passed, reminds me that even though she was a fairly private person, I did get to know a little more about her.  I did have a small window into the woman she was and who we will remember to have been.  I think I might try to work a few of these into my photo project.

We'll see.

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