(Letters from Family)
Good Morning! Many people all around the world are celebrating Valentine’s Day today!! How are you celebrating or are you like me and not participating in the usual shenanigans?
Today I want to honour and remember something that was very dear to my heart that is no longer a usual practice – letter writing. How many of you have letters from years ago or maybe even recently? How many of you have ever even seen a handwritten letter? Many years ago it was something that everyone did before we had the ability to communicate electronically. There were no cell phones, and certainly social media was a far off thought.
Back then people chatted and socialized together, they called each other and had conversations on the telephone, but it was a privilege to be able to make long distance calls and very expensive. Letter writing, therefore, was the cheapest, most normal way to stay in touch with loved ones regularly. Usually you had to wait weeks to get mail from overseas that came “via air mail” and were excited when you got a letter – I can still remember that feeling!
I enjoyed getting letters! I got many and I have managed to save quite a few. Ones written on airmail letters, a very light blue paper that were pre printed especially to be mailed and had three sticky edges to seal the letter and said “by air mail/air letter” and the french translation “Par Avion” (see an example in the top right hand corner in the image above). Letters were also written on pretty decorated writing paper or plain lined paper. I especially loved getting letters from my Granny, Nana, Aunty Ivy, my Mom and Dad, one of my brothers and one of my friends, Nicola, who later became my sister-in law – hers always had me howling with laughter, those were written on sheets of yellow lined legal paper. My Aunty Ivy always did comical doodle figures in her letters and they were always super happy and funny.
The one thing that remains with me when I look at them now is that they were filled with love. I touch the paper and can feel the indentation of where the pen nibs have left their ink and words indelibly imprinted across each page. I can identify who wrote each letter just from the handwriting on the paper, and I am flooded with memories which take me back many years to the stories being shared through every word written! Stamps on the outer envelope and handwritten addresses tell the tale of how far they had “travelled” from overseas.
Love was sent across many miles to let you know that even though you were separated by distance you were still in someone else’s thoughts. I cherish the letters I have managed to keep in spite of the many times I have moved, the many changes and turns and journeys I have taken. Every once in a while I take them out and reminisce, especially since some of people who wrote them are no longer with me, their words replace their voices and help to keep special memories alive through the stories they tell.
Have a wonderful day everyone, share love at every chance you get with the people who are important in your life, not just on Valentine’s Day, whether they are near or far.