My father was recently given a set of letters written by his father (now gone these fifty years and more) to a friend in the early 1940’s.
This was the first time our family had seen the letters. Among lighthearted notes on singings and youth news and extended family, and a few more sober thoughts on the war, I found this gem I loved.
“But if I don’t get to see you
I will see what I can do
Seems funny that scribbling like this
will tell others
what you mean.”
I never got to meet him. But I knew he was a kindred spirit.
I wonder if our grandchildren will get to see anything written by us, or if the minimalistic, paperless age will silence our voices for our future kindred spirits.
It’s a very good worry and I will add it to my repertoire. I tend to fear the opposite – that our (my) digital overdocumentation will give our grandchildren far, far more information about us than they would ever like to have had. Gulp.
I love this! I am from the dinosaur era that never throws away a letter. Because someday I will sort through them, reread them, and then give them back to the person who wrote to me. Then they will have a long ago record of their day to day adventures! And their grandchildren can find kindred spirits. (I’d better get busy!)
“The dinosaur era” makes me laugh. 🙂 I LOVE saving letters. And having mine saved. Letters are the gift of God to posterity.
This reminded me of your Grandpa Yutzy, who I knew. Unless, of course, I have my genealogy confused, which would not be the first or last time. I’d love to see a post on him, sometime…
I loved my Grandpa Yutzy more than I can say. Still do – and miss him so much. I lived next door to him for most of my life, but I treasure a few letters he wrote to me and my children.
Hooray for not being the only person who saves letters! I alternate between feeling like a hopeless clutter-er in keeping them, but the thought of tossing them out feels so heartless and permanent…