For the past year or so I have been sorting and archiving my Grandmother’s “papers.” She was a prolific letter writer, and she kept most of the letters she received over the years. (My mother has done the same, so I have two generations worth of letters going back to the 1930s!) Grandmother had 10 children, and as far as I can tell, she wrote to each one of them weekly after they were grown, as well as other relatives and friends. Most of the letters I have were written to my mother, but there are also letters from my great-grandparents in reply to letters Grandmother wrote to them. It has been a very fascinating project to me, offering a glimpse into the daily life of my family long before I came along, and then on into my childhood and growing-up years.
It was fun to also find a small diary Grandmother kept during her junior and senior years of high school. She was just the age my daughter is during her senior year, so that has been interesting to us this year. (Their birthdays are just one day apart. Grandmother’s birthday is today. My daughter’s is tomorrow.) I have also been encouraged as I’ve read the letters written during Grandmother’s “middle age” years in the 1950s and ’60s. It’s been interesting to see how she and Granddaddy dealt with some of the same challenges my husband and I are going through.
Grandmother would be 94 today. She has been gone to Heaven for several years now. She left her family with a rich Christian heritage, not to mention the “treasure” of all the letters documenting their daily life! Letter-writing is a dying art. I’m so glad Grandmother and Mother chose to “hoard” their letters for future generations.