L – Long Lost Letter


“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.








About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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18 Responses to L – Long Lost Letter

  1. Stephen Tremp says:

    Hello, stopping in from A to Z and thanks for your continued participation!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    Twitter: @StephenTremp

  2. Gwynn Rogers says:

    I have to take off running tomorrow morning, so I posted this tonight. I know it is tomorrow SOMEWHERE in the world. 😉

  3. Jemima Pett says:

    Finding old letters is such a joy, especially when the writers are no longer with us. In my Mum & Dad’s things there were letters written by each of their kids – takes me back to a time when …. we were so young. Should I give my brother’s letter to his son? Not yet, I need to treasure it a while longer.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Jemima, I so wish I had more old family letters. What you have is a treasure. It is sad that we don’t realize that someday these letters will be treasured. Now with email and texting, we won’t have any treasures for the next generations. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  4. pat garcia says:

    Yes, my dear Gwynn, I have had similar experiences and it does plummet you back into the past and you sit there enjoying a lovely memory from days gone by.

    This is a lovely article. Humorous and witty yet filled with wisdom.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      It is funny, as I had totally forgotten this incident until I read the letter. We dearly loved Aunt Lida and Uncle Jim. They truly were like family. So finding the letter and the pictures of Lida brought a warm, loving feeling to my heart. Now they are all up in Heaven enjoying one another.

      Thanks for your kindness and comment Pat.

  5. How cute! Such a treasure.

    When I started last year to look into the family history, my mom gave me a bunch of letters to scan. Most are love letters from my grandpa to my grandma during WWII, and they are precious. In the stack, though, was another letter from my great uncle Gordy, who was killed in an accident. In the letter, he’s all excited about what I could instantly see was a mining scam in Arizona. As I read it, I wanted to shout, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” No one had ever read any of these letters, so no one knew this letter existed. For me, it was gold.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Oh WHAT TREASURES you hold!! I do have my great grandfather’s speeches as he was a Superior Court Judge for California. Fortunately another family member did a VAST genealogy search and created a book, but I don’t have letters. Since Mom was an only child there is very little I know about her family.

      I’m sorry your uncle was killed, but he is lucky that he didn’t get involved in the mining scam!! You are holding a Pot of Gold… Enjoy!

  6. I suppose it would surprise no one that I’ve kept all the letters that I’ve received over the years. Admittedly, I don’t receive letters nowadays but when I was a kid I had a ton of pen pals all over the world. They’re all in boxes under my childhood bed waiting for me.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I am SO impressed that you kept all of those letters. We moved several times, so unnecessary things were thrown out. I am sad that I didn’t keep some of the letters from friends. I did keep some of my brother’s correspondence though.

  7. I kept all the letters I ever received. My favorite find, letter related, was when I stumbled across a box filled with letters my Mom’s sister sent to her when she was teaching in a little one room school in different state. So much fun getting an inside peek at bygone days.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Mary Ann, Thanks for stopping by to comment. What a TREASURE you found. Reading the letters of years gone by must bring back many delightful and interesting memories for you. I love learning about history and what was done in years past. Sadly, I don’t have family letters to read. Enjoy!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi MaryAnn, Sadly I could not get your blog to accept my wordpress address as mine is http://gwynnsgritandgrin.com Evidently wordpress does not like my .com. I LOVED your blog. You had an extremely interesting former life. Thank you for stopping by my blog.

  8. Ah, The Letter. I love it, Gwynn, just love it. Thanks for sharing this gossamer bit of nostalgia come in from an impermanent world.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Sadly, after all our moves, I don’t have any family letters. They all disappeared years ago. I have kept a few of my brothers cards and notes though. I learned that my kids have kept notes from my brother as well. Now with email and texting there won’t be these mementos. It was wonderful finding this treasure wrapped around Lida’s picture.

  9. Susan Scott says:

    Thank you for this lovely cast back to the past Gwynn. I’ve kept ALL letters from over the years. A few years back my sister and I shared the letters I still had from our parents. It was very moving. Just the other day my husband interrupted me to show some letters he had written to his parents when he was living abroad. He couldn’t decide whether to keep them or not.

    And that is the most charming story about Jimmy, Jesus and Uncle Jim!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Sadly, I don’t have family letters… except I have kept cards and notes from my brother, Jim, over the years. Amazingly my children have kept cards from their uncle too. As I told Samantha, with email and texting keeping these mementos will be even more difficult. It was such a treasure finding this piece of history and the past. I went from being 65 to 6 in an instant! It was a dear feeling.

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