what’s in a letter….

One of the pleasures of reading old letters is the knowledge that they need no answer.  ~Lord Byron
So I have spent some time over the past couple of weeks looking through received letters and cards.  I have a habit of keeping all of them and I haven’t looked at them much recently so I had forgotten how many I actually had and who they had all been sent from…. 
 
The majority of the letters were from my Grandpa.  Lots from Granny too. 
 
Granny was writing about watching the Calgary Olympics in 1988, being excited about a pending visit from us and eating ice cream with Grandpa in the backyard.  Grandpa was reminding me that consistency in school was important, saying that it wasn’t every grandparent that got weekly letter from their grandchildren or quoting a poem made somehow relevant by the context.  Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 
Other letters and cards were from Mum.  There were many letters, cards and photos from other family and friends too; lots received after I moved to the UK but some from before I left too.  Some from high school even.  Some letters made me smile, some made feel sad, some I just couldn’t even bring myself to read again and some even made me feel angry.  Some were from friends who I haven’t heard from for a while.  All of them meant something….  
This process made me realise that I miss those friends I hear from less routinely now so if that applies to you, expect a letter soon!  And it reminded me of Granny and Grandpa and my relationship with them too.  I remember when I was writing those letters every week sometimes it felt a bit of a chore.  But I am sure glad I did it….
To receive a letter in the post is now the exception rather than the rule.  The convenience of email, blogs, cheaper phone calls and text messaging has essentially replaced the need to write like that now.  Overall, I guess this is good because routine communication and more rapid feedback is the norm now… but 20 years from now I won’t be looking through my letters like I just did.  Saved emails are just not the same.

So my moto for today is “Write more letters…”