Friday, January 14, 2011

Letters to Our Children

My father wrote a letter to me after I was married. It is the only letter I ever received from him, a treasure on a piece of paper. My mother wrote often. With the flair of her pen, she entertained and informed. Wednesday I posted on my Neff Road blog a letter I found from my grandmother to my father, her son. She wrote:

" I cleaned up your room (partly) yesterday and I felt homesick for you again. Your room is pretty empty without you in it."

Simple words of a mother's love. A letter my father saved.

It dawned on me that online communication has robbed us of those pieces of paper, pieces that can survive decades, words on paper that can tell us a little something of those we never had a chance to know. Online we reply, we delete, we ignore these pieces of communication that can often be priceless.

My granddaughters and I live together. Once in awhile we email. No paper trail. I know that I have written letters to my son since he lived away from home for many years. I'm not so sure that I have written to my daughter since she has been close all of her life. What's wrong with me?! I know how much that single letter from my father means to me. I know that this letter has gained meaning over the years, especially since the loss of my parents. So what's my excuse?

Letters. Words of praise, words of meaning, words of love. Words that now get deleted or stored in a   computer and forgotten.

"The point?" you ask. "Are you getting to the point, Pam?" Well, yes I am. We need to grab a piece of paper and write, type, draw, whatever we use to express our feelings and just do it. Letters. Letters to those we love. Love letters. A letter from an older parent, a letter from a grandparent.

A letter.....


  1. On my site I have a review of a great book, Curly Grandma's Letters, about how to write to your grandchildren. It should start well before they are actually able to read, and on-site grandchildren are just as eligible as far away ones. Letters from grandparents will be wonderful treasures to them some day.

  2. It's like trying to get a kid to write a thank you note. We seem to have lost interest in the pen.

  3. So true, Jake. Just remember that we are the pen. We just need to remember the paper. Mine is in the printer.

  4. This really resonates with me. I have a box filled with treasured old letters from my childhood. Since moving away from my grandchildren, I am creating the habit of sending them each an 'old-fashioned' letter every month. My husband, Gem, who can draw, sometimes illustrates these with fine pen and ink drawings.

    My seven year old granddaughter loves her letters, but she made me laugh when she said recently, "Nana. You do know I have my own email address now, right?"

    A combination of new and old is perfect, I think.

  5. Nana Jo, I love your comment. What a fantastic thing to do for your grandchildren. AND, with illustrations! You have created treasures for generations to come. Some day you should copy the letters and put them into a book for them.

    Yes, we combine the old with the new and cherish the old that has been handed down to us. We are the keepers of hearts.