Monday, September 26, 2005

A Mother Always Knows

Saturday I received a letter from my Mother. I was so thrilled that I was ripping the envelope open even before I had returned to the house. My Mother is part of the last generation of letter writers. She learned the art from her Mother who holds the esteemed title of The Greatest Letter Writer that ever lived. Her mother dutifully wrote letters to all the realitives she left behind when she and her husband immigrated to America.

My Aunt, Mom's sister, is a tremendous letter writer also. She arises at 5am each day and begins her letter writing, as is her custom as was her mothers. I receive notes on a regular basis from Aunt Maura. They are generally informative chatty two page affairs keeping me abreast of all the going on's with my cousins and their families.

I love those notes.

There is something so intimate and joyful about knowing that someone took the time to jot down a few lines, hunt down my address (I have had 20 different addresses in as many years), find a stamp and place the letter in the mail. Do those sending the letters have any notion at the pleasure that accompanies them on their journey?

I remember when I  left home and began my first attempt at college. I traveled 250 miles west to attend Murray State University. I felt at that time that I wanted as far away from my parents as possible! (strict Roman Catholics). The mail boxes for my dormitory were located in Hart Hall. Everyday around mid day I would make the trek to the boxes. They covered three walls, were made of brass, had two tiny knobs for the combination, and a tiny glass window.

To see something in that box always brought a smile. It usually was a letter from my Mom, a letter from one of my friends I left behind, or the home town weekly newspaper. The bouts of loneliness and homesickness an 18 year old child away from home for the first time could be forgotten for awhile at mid day.

It is because of those memories that I make an extreme effort to send Bridget a card each week for the past year and a half since she has moved to Louisville. If I skip a week, she lets me know. It is amazing how much the simple act of a card with an "I love you and I miss you" means. Yet I know. That is why I do it.

I called my Mom yesterday and told her how much I appreciated the note. I told her how I recalled anticipating her letters while at Murray and how I would run to the mail box with hope that I would  be receiving that little bit of home. I told her how much I loved it and looked forward to it and how her letter brought back those memories.

"Oh Mary, don't forget I put $12 in those letters too!"

That woman remembers way too much!

19 comments:

my78novata said...

ah loved this story adn its great you and your mom have such a relationsip

nellemclaughlin said...

There is nothing as personal as a handwritten letter. I worry that with email it will be a lost art and our children will never miss it.

andreakingme said...

Le gulp! What a touching entry! I loved it. ::sniff::

dcmeyer420 said...

I can relate to this. To this day, I write birthday cards, christmas cards, and thank you letters by hand and post them via snail mail. I also stick money inside the cards for special occassions. My mother taught me that there's no substitute to a handwritten letter. I guess our mothers came from the same school.

ryanagi said...

Wow...letters. I used to get those. My grandma was great for sending cards and letters. I miss that.

wfhbear said...

Visits and letters from Mom are always an occasion of some kind. Now that Mom lives here near me I don't get the benefit of her writing anymore. I have always enjoyed the time and thought that went into her letters. Thanks for the thoughts that you helped me evoke. My regards, Bill.

bethsfrontporch said...

Just about my most valued possessions are letters my friends and loved ones have sent, through thick and thin.  They tell a personal, loving history.  I have a great friend who lives only ten miles away, but we still tell our deepest thoughts to each other through snail mail, long letters.  --Beth

mrccgoody said...

LOL! Your mom is too funny... I know that I love getting anything like that in the mail, and yet it's so hard to motivate myself to send stuff out to other people...your mom and your aunt set wonderful examples...

lisaram1955 said...

I used to be a fairly prolific letter writer.  Now, I have nobody left to write letters TO.  My journal kind of takes the place of the letters...   Lisa  :-]

indigosunmoon said...

I'm always thrilled when I
get a letter via snail mail!
~~Connie

mavarin said...

That's interesting.  I always *dreaded* letters from my mom when I was in college.  I'm glad your experience was a better one! - Karen

mtrib2 said...

Enjoyed reading about the focus that you put on your interpersonal relationships.  Letters from home have always been a joy, and as I age the importance grows greater.  I am still going thru back problems but am doing sit-ups and some dumbbells daily.  Exercise is giving me more hope on getting to point that I can become productive with my day.        mark

mtrib2 said...

Enjoyed reading about the focus that you put on your interpersonal relationships.  Letters from home have always been a joy, and as I age the importance grows greater.  I am still going thru back problems but am doing sit-ups and some dumbbells daily.  Exercise is giving me more hope on getting to point that I can become productive with my day.        mark

mymaracas said...

I hope you don't mind my leaving a note here, but I just had to say how much I enjoyed your entry. I too have been thinking about how much I miss real, handwritten letters. I used to receive so many; like yours, they were from my mother, grandmother, beloved aunts, childhood pals who moved away... it does seem to be a women's thing. I have saved them all, and I treasure every one.

suzypwr said...

The computer usage is ruining my handwriting - I am not sure my daughter can read the notes I leave for her! Having nice handwriting takes practice, I guess. It's great to have old handwritten letters saved.

xoxo

deabvt said...

Your Mom sounds Great!
V

blondepennierae said...

This was so heart warming and then the cute ending.  I loved it.  I used to love letter writting.  I think it was because I had to spend so many months stuck in bed when I was a child.  Books and letter writting were what occupied me.  Now when I write a long letter to a friend I get an e-mail in return.  LOL  Pennie

justaname4me2 said...

I love hearing about genuine letter writers. I am one of those, and I'm happy to say I've discovered two other people in this world who will write me, all the time. I often wonder if my mailman thinks we have some sort of crazy society going. Letters leaving my home and beautiful letters arriving!
Rebecca

mariebm56 said...

Awwwww what a wonderful entry.
I don't read too many entries, as you know I am more a visual person, I skim through Journals looking for photograph..; )
My daughter left this past summer, & I am lucky I get a phone call from her during the week.  I am the one who calls her to make sure she is alright...; (
Thanks for sharing~
Marie