Sunday, January 26, 2014

Postscript from Dad

This succinct note from Dad appeared on the back of one of Mom's envelopes last week.    One of the benefits of not being one of my parents' local kids--my younger brother and older brother live twenty-five and fifteen minutes away from them, respectively--is that I have almost twenty years' worth of their letters.  We write to each other weekly--letters from both Mom and Dad were tucked into the envelope that arrived in yesterday's mail--and along with our letters usually exchange hometown news stories clipped from their paper, comic strips, decorating and gardening ideas from magazines, photos of my apartment projects, Mom's photos of her and Dad's gardens, paint chips, wallpaper and fabric scraps, flower seeds, occasionally a few dollars of what we call "fun money" to buy a magazine or flowers or other enjoyable "just because" thing with, and recipes we think the other will like.  It is the letters that are most precious, of course, and I've kept every one since the very first in 1995.  (I've kept all but maybe ten pieces of all the personal mail I've ever received, for that matter.)  Mom is not as sentimental as I am and rarely saves any of her mail--Alas! for my future biographers!  ;)--but I have boxes and bags full of it, and knowing that I have all these letters carefully packed away is a special joy. 

13 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Val ~ You and your parents are so blessed to have this loving relationship. Thank you for sharing bits and pieces of it.

Have a lovely Sunday ~ FlowerLady

Heidi Fuqua said...

That is so awesome! I love sitting down reading through old letters. It always kind of brings up great memories.

Val said...

Lorraine and Heidi, thank you. You're both up early too. :)

Lorraine, I see how lucky I am more and more the older I get.

And Heidi, yes! A sweet, even if sometime bittersweet, activity. Old mail is a treasure.

La Table De Nana said...

Love this.

Carol said...

Val,

Scan those letters! Keep digital copies in multiple places. You won't be sorry you did that.

If you don't have a scanner,I have one I can give you. I upgraded my computers and the old scanner didn't work with the new OS.

We'll be in your area in May for graduation, I can bring it then if you want.

Balisha said...

My Dad was in WWII and I was 5 yrs. old at the time. He sent me letters every week. He would decorate them with stick figures of our family and little clothelines with our clothes hanging. I kept them for all the years that I lived at home. Mom, being such a neat freak...got rid of them all when I first left home... to get married. They were in the attic and it was cleaned.
Letters are so special now...because of the computer. People just don't write them anymore.How lucky you are that you have kept this up for all these years. What a treasure.
Balisha

Lisa said...

What a nice practice. Do you go back and look at them, ever?

Val said...

Monique, thank you.

Carol, yes I have a scanner. I have scanned other special mail--the pages of my "Sommer scrapbook" too--but I haven't done all my mail yet. I have a lifetime's worth of mail from everyone--grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, friends, former teachers, etc.--so scanning it all be quite the undertaking. We'll see. All my mail received prior 2007 is in a bunch of boxes at my parents' house.

Balisha, what sweet letters--the stick figures and clotheslines!!--and what a huge loss. I'm so sorry.

Lisa, yes, I do! The last time I opened the boxes and reread a bunch of the old mail (from everyone, not just my parents) was the summer of 2011, a couple weeks before Mike and I moved into this apartment, while I was home for my brother's wedding. I texted him at the time a couple of the funny things he'd mentioned in his letters to me over the years. ♥

Deb said...

Hi Val - I am a new follower coming over from Lorraine's Flower Lady Blog. I love this post. I still have all the letters my mom send me from when I moved far away until her death in 1997 -- about 12 years worth. I also have the sweet little letters she wrote to my children and put them books for them and gave them to them for Christmas a few years back. Letters are a sweet keep sake. Looking at your blog, I can see that we have much in common. Will be back to visit you again soon. You seem like "my kind of people."

Carola Bartz said...

What a treasure you have here, Val! How sweet that you and your parents write each other letters every week - that is so rare.
I have kept all the letters my mother wrote to me (my Dad never has been a writer) and now that she is gone they are such a treasure I have. She also kept all the letters I had written to her, but I think my Dad threw them all away after she had died.

Val said...

Deb, I'm happy to meet you too. :) And I love the idea of making the letters into books. That was so thoughtful of you. Your children must have been so touched.

Carola, it does seem rare these days. How wonderful that you have your mom's letters too. I actually still have bookmarked your beautiful post about your mother that you wrote in February 2012. She sounded like an incredible woman.

The Favorite Things Guy said...

Very sweet!

Val said...

Thank you, Jason. 'Glad you're back to writing again too.