Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pen Pals

Keeping in touch with my grandparents had been on my mind. When we had to miss Christmas this year, I didn't get to see any extended family. I couldn't help but fear, what if someone were to pass on this year? And I missed their last Christmas? I know it's a little morbid, but it was an honest fear. The Hubs lost both his grandfather and grandmother to strokes in the last two years. I have a grandfather and two grandmothers who are alive and well. They are so very dear to me.
If I'm honest, it's hard to see them grow old. It brings thoughts to my head of my own parents aging and even of myself at age 80. The great part is that my grandparents have led these lives full of family and service. They have rich histories written in their wrinkles. The hard part is that in my head, they are still in their 60's, gardening and doing volunteer work. When we head back to my folks and visit with the grandparents, their age surprises me. It gets harder for them to get around. The pace is s-l-o-w. I don't want them to ail. I don't want them to age. Time is a tricky thing.
It has bothered me for years that I'm not in touch with them more. Phone calls are difficult, I usually think of it when it's too late to call or when I can't really take the time to make a call. I'm also not great at chit chat and feel akward sometimes calling people just because.
Then this holiday season, it occurred to me. What better way to keep in touch than by writing letters! I love correspondence. You know the kind. With stationary and a pen and stamps? Love it! I've written monthly updates so far, and sent them off to my grandparents. It gives them something in the mail (don't you love getting mail that's not a bill or credit card offer?) and also keeps them up on what's going on with their big city grandkid. It's a win-win.
It's one small thing that I've been doing to brighten someone's day. It's not global. It's not changing the world.
But it sure feels great.


Mimi said...

What a great idea! I used to LOVE writing letters, but I seem to have got out of the habit. It's a shame: it really is nice to get something in the mail that's not a bill or a solicitation of some kind ...

Anonymous said...

My grandparents have never met my children. Isn't that horrible. We can't swing the major money to visit. I do send them lots of cards and photos. And heaps of art work. Why should my fridge be the only ugly one?

Michelle said...

I know what you mean - especially w/us being military we don't get to visit extended family near as often as I wish.

My mom's parents are still here as is my father's father. Joe's mom's father is still alive and his father's mother is too.

Writing real letters sounds like a wonderful idea and a great way to keep them up to date on everything. And it is nice to get that real letter in the mail!

Beck said...

Oh! You know what I do? I keep a big manilla envelope addressed to my grandma and during the week I throw in anything I think she might like - photos I print out, paintings from the kids, letters - and then when it's full, seal it up and mail it off.

LoriAnn said...

What a great idea. And you're so right, it's such a joy these days to actually get a piece of mail...even birthdays are a bit of a downer sometimes with all the e-cards out there. You have inspired me!

Aliki2006 said...

This was so touching for me to read. I experienced just that--saw my beloved grandmother two years ago (she lived in Greece) and she seemed so healthy, to young to me. Then she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was dead in 6 months. I did write to her, but not as often as I should have.

I love beck's idea--how truly wonderful!

Melissa said...

My friend and I call that "fun mail." There's nothing better that getting something you actually want to get in the mailbox.

Even if it's just a silly card that I've signed my name to, it's enjoyable to send and receive.

Jenifer said...

Just catching up...good job with the dinners! I love sending my Grandmother (I call her Nonna) letters and such, she is my only grandparent left and I wish she lived in our city.

It is a good deed since it brings joy to everyone, the sender and the person getting a lovely little envelope in the mail.

When Hubby and I were dating he mailed me something at least once a week and I have them all...I just couldn't part with them when we cleaned out recently. I keep a lot of letters and cards. One day I think I will be glad I did.

Jenn said...

I disagree.

Brightening someone's day does change the world.

Just wait, you'll see.

Oh, The Joys said...

When my grandparents died, I found a drawerfull of my letters saved.

Keep writing.