“What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can’t reread a phone call.” Liz Carpenter
“A strange volume of real life in the daily packet of the postman. Eternal love and instant payment!” Douglas Jerrold
“A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend.” Emily Dickinson
In going through family albums or boxes have you ever run across a long lost letter or family memento that means the world to you? The letter instantly warps you back into time as if the years had not passed. You stand there looking around to see that nothing has changed. The surroundings are the same, as are the people… but no one sees you.
Recently, I had this experience by going through my brother’s pictures, that I have kept all these years after his death, I found a letter that is now 60 years old. I suspect it was a note written to my mother by our beloved neighbor, who described a situation involving my brother. Attached to the note was a picture of our neighbor on her 84th birthday. Amazingly she lived to be 104 years old. My brother and I loved our neighbors as if they were grandparents. We called them Aunt Lida and Uncle Jim.
Sadly there is no date on the letter, but it reads:
“My husband had been blind for many years, and our very close neighbors had two little children whom we grew to love as fondly as if they were out own.
One morning, Jimmy, not quite four years old, returned from Sunday school. Coming into our house before going home asked Aunt Lida, ‘where is Uncle Jim?’
‘He is in the bedroom, Jimmy.’ I answered.
Walking briskly into the room, I heard him fairly shout, ‘Do you know WHAT, Uncle Jim! The teacher said Jesus made the blind man see. He just made mud out of dirt with spit, and put it on his eyes. Why don’t you try it, Uncle Jim?”
I can still envision Aunt Lida chuckling at my brother’s solution to Uncle Jim’s blindness.
This letter may be “long and lost” but my memory of the love of these dear people still remains.